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Museum of English Rural Life on the move – University of Reading

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Museum of English Rural Life on the move

Release Date 17 February 2005

a shropshire wagonTractors and even traditional farm wagons will be making their way down Redlands Road over the next few days as the superb object collections owned by The University of Reading's Museum of English Rural Life are moved to the museum's new £10.5 million site. Construction work on the state-of-the-art development is now complete and MERL staff have begun the process of moving the object collections, archives and library. "This is the start of an exciting period for MERL – finally moving into our new home," said Dr Roy Brigden, Keeper of the Museum. "Now the really hard work begins as we move these nationally important collections of everything from tractors to books, all of which tell the story of the countryside. "It will be wonderful to be able to show off the museum pieces in a building that will offer superb facilities, with much improved conditions for storage, conservation and public access. The new MERL promises to be a major boon both for the University and the town of Reading." MERL's new home is located at the former St Andrew's Hall of Residence. The existing building will house the archive, book and photographic collections along with enhanced visitor facilities, including a new reading room and space for temporary exhibitions and interactive displays. A large new building that has gone up next to the original structure will contain the extensive artefact collections. The archives and library will open at the new Redlands Road site on Tuesday 26 April 2005 and the exhibition building in July 2005. The MERL development has been supported by a £5.17 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, funding by The University of Reading and by generous donations from members of the public and other organisations. End Notes for editors -For directions to the new MERL site, see: http://www.ruralhistory.org/the_centre/the_location.html ********MEDIA PHOTO OPPORTUNITY******** EVENT: Museum object collections – including tractors, farm wagons and horse-drawn ploughs – being moved to MERL's new £10.5m home. WHERE: MERL's new site in Redlands Road, Reading. WHEN: 11am, Monday 28 February.* 11am, Tuesday 1 March.* ******************************************************* *As the move is occurring over a number of days, the best times for photographing the larger objects being unloaded at the site might change. Please contact the Museum before sending a photographer: Contact: Dr Roy Brigden, Keeper of the Museum. Tel: 0118 378 8663 Email: r.d.brigden@reading.ac.uk

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