Snow update – Jan 18th, 11.25am

The Museum & Special Collections reading room are currently open as usual. Toddler Time will take place at 1pm as planned. However, snow is falling heavily in Reading and we are monitoring the situation carefully. We still plan to open as usual at the weekend but decisions will be taken depending on conditions nearer the […]

MERL Annual Review 2011-12

The Annual Review for 2011-12 is now available to download from our website. The review covers the Museum and Special Collections’ highlights and achievements over the last academic year (to September ’12)  To download the Review, visit

MERL Annual Lecture – The British Countryside in 2030

Richard Benyon, Newbury MP and Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, will explore the issues surrounding the future of the British countryside when he presents MERL’s Annual Lecture on Thursday 29 November. Richard Benyon said: “In 2012, it could be said that the British countryside is in a state of imbalance. While many species […]

Press Release: Ladybird books – icons of British childhood – under the microscope at MERL

Members of the public are to be given a rare glimpse of original artwork from one of the hidden gems among the University of Reading’s special collections. The Ladybird Archive, held by the University’s Special Collections Services, contains thousands of individual items, including original artwork and cover designs from hundreds of Ladybird books – perhaps […]

Press Release: University wins silverware at Royal Berkshire Show

Interactive exhibits, home-grown food and fun activities helped the University of Reading to win two top prizes at the Royal Berkshire Show 2012. The University’s display won first prize in the best large trade stand and the best local trade stand categories at this year’s show, which ran over the weekend of 15th and 16th September. The display […]

MERL Traditional Craft Fair 2012 – calling local craftspeople!

Applications are invited for the 2012 Traditional Craft Fair to be held at MERL in November We are pleased to announce that following the continued success of the Museum’s Traditional Craft Fair, we will be running the event again this year on November 10th, 11am to 4pm. The emphasis is on traditional and heritage crafts […]

Press Release: Uni Museum brings rural past alive for families

With the school summer holidays approaching, the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) is launching new family tours as part of its exciting summer programme. The Museum, which is owned and managed by the University of Reading, was recently nominated as one of the country’s top 20 Family Friendly museums by Kids in Museums, but […]

Press Release: Celebrating our sporting heritage as Olympic torch arrives

As the crowds gather to welcome the Olympic torch to Reading, the Museum of English Rural life at the University of Reading is reflecting the influence English country heritage has had in world sport – including helping provide the spark for the modern Olympics. The torch will come to Reading on Tuesday evening (10 July), […]

Press Release: University recognised for giving volunteers a great experience

The University of Reading Museums and Special Collections Service (UMASCS) has been recognised for the outstanding opportunities and support it offers its volunteers. UMASCS has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers Standard from Volunteering England, marking it as an organisation committed to good practice and of volunteering excellence. The news coincides with the start of […]

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