Digging deeper – open store

No. of Objects: c.30,000

An image of tools hanging in the open store.

Delve into our stores

Venture up the stairs or lifts into the Digging Deeper gallery and you will find our Open Store. See behind the scenes into the Museum’s extensive reserve collection, which includes a wide variety of fascinating objects not included in the main galleries.

There are also glazed workspaces designed so that Museum staff and students can work with the collection without interrupting visitor access.

Extended to 27/10/19 Maria Mckinney: Sire

Please note that from February to May there is an exhibtion of photographs and sculptures on display on the mezzanine. Sire is an exploration of the themes of selective breeding and genetics in contemporary cattle farming, directly informed by The MERL’s collections of livestock portraiture and straw craft.

What can I see


Model pub

51 Voices

Did you know

...city families used to pick hops on holiday?

Hop picking holidays allowed city families to earn money. Pickers were paid with tokens, which were used in local shops or exchanged for wages.

Did you know

...Elizabethan mattresses were used for both childbirth and corpses?

Mattresses, plaited from sedges, were made to support a mother during childbirth or a corpse after death. After use it would have been burned.

Did you know

...farmers used to sow seeds by fiddle?

Sowing by hand can be slow and inaccurate. Seed drills were developed in the 1800s to sow seeds quickly in a straight line at regular intervals.

Did you know

...Lady Eve Balfour (1898-1990) was one of the earliest organic farmers and co-founded the Soil Association?

Women continue to play a key role in this movement, with organic farms employing significantly more women than chemical farming.

Did you know

...Suttons Seeds invented the seed packet?

The local Reading firm, founded in 1806, popularised paper packets of seeds for gardeners.

Item from the Suttons Sees Ltd. archive collection

Did you know

...villages often used to run their own fire services?

The National Fire Service was only created in 1941.

Did you know