Press Releases

Ure Museum wins AHRB funding for redevelopment – University of Reading

Release Date : 16 February 2004

The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology at the University of Reading has been awarded £30,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) for a refurbishment of its displays and the creation of a new website, which will include virtual learning tools and an online catalogue of its unique collections. With around 2,000 objects, the museum is recognised as the fourth largest collection of Greek ceramics in Britain, and regularly attracts international scholarly interest. It also contains an important collection of Egyptian antiquities, prehistoric pottery and metal and stone artefacts. "The new AHRB funding, along with the support of the University, means that we can create a fantastic learning environment that will open up this important collection to many more audiences," says the Curator of the museum, Dr Amy Smith. By presenting the collections in an innovative and exciting way, the museum will be a vibrant educational resource for visitors of all ages, as well as academics, students and the many school groups who already come to learn about various topics, such as mummification, hieroglyphics and detective work with ancient artefacts. A Sustainable Development grant from SEMLAC (South East Museum, Library & Archive Council) gave the Ure Museum an opportunity in 2003 to assess its current and future audiences. The AHRB funding will now allow Dr Smith and her colleagues to put discoveries and ideas from this assessment into practice. The successful scheme will see the Ure Museum's home in the University's Department of Classics completely updated, with the displays rearranged into themes, such as 'Mythology and the gods', 'Athletics and warfare' and 'Women'. The inclusion of electronic resources in the Museum will capitalise on the efforts of staff, volunteers, and students since 2000 — aided in part in 2002-2003 by the University Committee for the Arts —to build an illustrated digital database of the museum collections. "A redevelopment like this will help us expand our programme of special events and holiday activities, and improve access and facilities for schoolchildren and the general public, as well as university and scholarly visitors," says Dr Smith. "The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology is moving into an exciting new era." The museum will remain open during the refurbishment, and can be visited 9am to 5pm on weekdays, admission free. It is regularly used, however, by university and school groups, so visitors should call ahead and check on availability. For further information please telephone 0118 378 6599 or e-mail: End About the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology -The museum is named after Percy Ure, the first Professor of Classics at Reading (1911-46), and his wife Annie, Curator of the Museum until just before her death in 1976. The collections represent the main fabrics, shapes, decorative techniques and evolutionary stages of Greek painted pottery. The objects have been donated by individuals and organisations such as the British Museum and the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, and many objects were hand-picked by the Ures to maximise the museum's role as a resource for the study of ancient Greek pottery. The museum's archival materials relate to the lives and works of its founders, including records of their excavations at Rhitsona, Greece. -For further information on the museum, visit the Museum's website: -The Ure Museum is one of a number of museums and collections at the University of Reading offering access and learning programmes for the public. For further information visit or -For media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, Press Officer, University of Reading Tel: 0118 378 7388 E-mail:


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