Title-page of biography of Samuel HartlibNew acquisitions

Information about notable new additions to the library of the Museum of English Rural Life will be posted here. If you would like to view any of these items, please contact us.


  • Railways and agriculture in North Lincolnshire. Rough notes of a ride over the track of the Manchester, Sheffield, Lincolnshire, and other railways.... by Samuel Sidney. London : William Pickering, 1848.

A very scarce mid-nineteenth century book on farm produce transportation and issues relating to railways and agriculture by the agricultural writer Samuel Sidney.

  • A biographical memoir of Samuel Hartlib..... with biographical notices of works published by him and a reprint of his pamphlet, entitled An Invention of Engines of Motion, by H. Dircks. London : John Russell Smith, [1865]

A nineteenth-century biographical memoir of Samuel Hartlib, a seventeenth-century German-British polymath who was active in developing and promoting new ideas to increase productivity in agriculture.  

  • The cottager's agricultural companion : comprising a complete system of cottage agriculture: intended to instruct the poor of Great Britain in the best arts of cottage husbandry, by William Salisbury. 1st edition. London : Printed for F.C. and J. Rivington, 1822.
  • Museums and design education : looking to learn, learning to see, edited by Beth Cook, Rebecca Reynolds and Catherine Speight. Ashgate, 2010. 

This new book includes a chapter on Museums and higher education: a context for collaboration, co-written by Kate Arnold-Foster (Head of the University of Reading's Museums and Special Collections Services) and Catherine Speight, and a chapter on Student use of a university museum by Rhianedd Smith, with reference to the Museum of English Rural Life.

The land question in Britain, 1750-1950, edited by Matthew Cragoe and Paul Readman. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

The Ministry of Food : thrify wartime ways to feed your family today, by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hodder and Stoughton, 2010.

  • Ask the fellows who cut the hay, by George Ewart Evans, watercolours and drawings by David Gentleman. Full Circle Editions, 2010.

Based on conversations with countrymen and women, this book, first published in 1956, provides a detailed portrait of life in rural Suffolk 100 years earlier. This book is a new edition of the classic work with beautiful new illustrations by the artist David Gentleman.

  • Breaking new ground : nineteenth-century allotments from local sources, edited by Jeremy Burchardt and Jacqueline Cooper. FACHRS Publications, 2010.

This book offers important new evidence about the history of nineteenth-century allotments, and shows that they were not just a means of alleviating poverty, but a major institution of Victorian village life.



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