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The Museum of English Rural Life to re-open its doors – University of Reading

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The Museum of English Rural Life to re-open its doors

Release Date 30 June 2005

MERLs new stained glass windowThe new Museum of English Rural Life, now in Redlands Road, Reading, will open its doors to the public on Tuesday 5 July following a three-year relocation and redevelopment project. The £10.89m development has been supported by a £5.17m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, funding by the University of Reading and by generous donations from members of the public and other organisations. The museum is about life and work in the countryside over the last 200 years and presents its entire collection of over 22,000 objects in a new and innovative display and open store. The exhibitions are still in the process of installation and completion so this is a chance for visitors to come along and see a museum in the making. There is also a vast archive containing historic records, over 1 million photographs and extensive film material as well as a large reference library. Roy Brigden, Keeper of the Museum, said: "The new museum provides a different experience to the traditional museums that visitors may be used to. It has been designed to spark the imagination, to allow people to simply enjoy the objects before them and to encourage them to think in new ways about what is largely a lost world." There are also exciting plans for the immediate and long term future including new interactive and electronic information sources, learning programmes, temporary exhibitions, and family fun days in the Summer holidays. More details can be found on the museum's website http://www.merl.org.uk The museum is open Tuesday–Friday 10am until 4.30pm. Saturday and Sunday opening coming soon 2pm until 4.30pm. The Library and archives are open Tuesday-Friday 10am until 4.30pm. Museum, Library and Archives are closed on Bank Holidays, Easter and between Christmas and New Year. Admission is free. For further information please call 0118 378 8660 or visit the website http://www.merl.org.uk where a map, directions and public transport information can be located. End Notes for editors -Dr Roy Brigden, the Keeper of the Museum, is available for interview. To arrange an interview or for any other media enquiries, please contact Sue Rayner. T: 0118 378 8005 E: s.j.rayner@rdg.ac.uk

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