The University Art Collections are available to view by appointment only. The information below will help you to plan your visit to our dedicated Art Study Room.


The collections are accessible to everyone after completion of a registration form. Please bring some form of identification on your first visit. We accept:

  • driving licenses
  • student/staff ID cards
  • bank cards
  • passports

GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018. The University of Reading is collecting in the public interest. We also process data from researchers and visitors for administrative and evidential purposes. More information can be found here. As the Collection is only available via request, you must contact us in advance of your visit. Let us know the date and time you would like to visit and we can reserve you a space in the Art Collection Study Room. You can use our online catalogues to gather descriptions and references of items and collections.


The Art Study Room is in the same building as The Museum of English Rural Life and the Special Collections and MERL Reading Room. There is a dedicated bike store next to the entrance to the Museum, and a limited amount of free parking is also available in front of the building. We can provide researchers with access to the University’s wi-fi system. There is a separate locker room, shared with the the Special Collections and MERL Reading Room, with 16 free lockers for bags and coats, and light refreshments are available in the Museum cafe. More information about accessibility can be found here.

View of an open door between a staircase and a corridor. Above the door is black lettering which reads 'Art Study Room'
The Art Study Room entrance is off the Staircase Hall in our Grade II-listed building, opposite the Special Collections and MERL Reading Room. Use the arrows on our Google Streetview tour, from before the redevelopment, to navigate around.


These guidelines are in place to reduce risk to the collections, some of which are very old and fragile, and to preserve them for future generations. By completing a registration form, you agree to follow these rules and abide by the instructions of staff.

The following are permitted in the Art Study Room:

  • pencils
  • note pads
  • laptops/tablets
  • mobile phones (switched to silence)
  • face masks

The following are not permitted in the Art Study Room:

  • pens
  • food (including chewing gum and cough sweets)
  • drinks (including bottled water)
  • bags (including British Library bags, handbags and laptop bags)
  • personal scanners, tripods and stands
  • hand gel