Skater on music cover from Spellman CollectionIn the year 2016 the University of Reading celebrated its 90th anniversary, having achieved University status in 1926. The occasion has been marked by a number of events throughout the year. Closing the year, material from across the University’s Museums and Special Collections Service (UMASCS) is exhibited here in a collaborative display.

Co-curated by the MERL Student Panel, Wintertide explores the season through five key themes: Celebration, The Winter Landscape, Adaptation, Winter in Literature and New Year New Beginnings.

The exhibition uses UMASCS collections to reveal seasonal traditions. Archival material presents contrasting experiences of winter told through newspapers, poetry and other commentary. Specimens are used to demonstrate cold weather’s effect on animal and plant ecology. Objects and artworks show how the landscape is transformed. An exploration of New Year customs concludes the display.

The Student Panel’s broad interpretation of the subject ensured its relevance to all of UMASCS’s collections. The display brings together material from the Museum of English Rural Life, Special Collections, University Art Collection, Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, Cole Museum of Zoology, Herbarium, Centre for East German Studies (now the East German Studies Archive), Department of Typography and Centre for Ephemera Studies.

This exhibition is generously supported by the University Arts Committee.

The exhibition will be on display at the Special Collections Service from 8 December 2016 until 10 February 2017.

[Image: Music cover from the Spellman Collection of Victorian music covers (Spellman Collection 1075)

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