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Seeing the Museum of English Rural Life through new eyes – University of Reading

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Seeing the Museum of English Rural Life through new eyes

Release Date 23 October 2006

The University of Reading's Museum of English Rural Life is launching a new set of activities for younger visitors to the centre. Ways of Seeing is a new family-based initiative which hopes to encourage youngsters to look at the exhibitions through different mediums. Visitors to the museum in Redlands Road, Reading, will now be given family activity bags which contain a range of activities to do around the exhibition gallery, whilst using a variety of tools including kaleidoscopes, magnifying glasses and torches. Bekky Moran, the Learning Manager at MERL, said: "The Ways of Seeing bags contain instruments to enable visitors to view the museum's collections in unusual and exciting ways, making a visit to the Museum of English Rural Life a completely unique experience. "It's hoped children will enjoy this unconventional and innovative approach at the same time as learning more about the materials which objects are made from and the way they are displayed." The fun, interactive activities will encourage families to look at the colour and shape of objects in the museum more closely and in different ways. Although children of all ages will enjoy using the instruments, the activities are aimed at children aged seven and older. For more information, please contact Alison Hilton, Marketing Officer, at or on 0118 378 8660, or visit the MERL website. MERL is open Tuesday-Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 2 - 4.30pm, and admission is free. Ends Notes for editors: 1. More information about the Museum of English Rural Life The Museum of English Rural Life was founded by the University of Reading in 1951 to reflect and record the changing face of farming and the countryside. It houses designated collections of national importance that span the full range of objects, archives, photographs, film and books. Today, it forms part of the University's Museums and Collections Service. The Museum operates as a major resource and research centre for the history of food, farming and the countryside with links into the School of History and other academic departments at the University. 2. More information About the University of Reading The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise. 3. Further information For further information contact Lucy Ferguson, Senior Press Officer, on 0118 378 7388, or email

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