Partners across disciplines
Our collections are wide-ranging, as are our research partnerships.
We enjoy connecting researchers across disciplines and across collections.
We engage with historical and social science research, creative and design practice, and with participatory research. To help deliver research impact, we connect stakeholders with collections which hold meaning for them, drawing on the expertise and partnerships within our museums and collections.
Because the significance of the collections cuts across traditional disciplinary divides, they provide excellent opportunities for co-creation, innovation and knowledge transfer with the cultural, heritage, and creative sectors both in the UK and internationally.
University of Reading
Within the University of Reading, several research centres are closely involved with collections-based research, including:
- The Beckett Research Centre
- Centre for Health Humanities
- Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing
- Centre for Economic Institutions and Business History
- Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures
- Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies
Much of the research into our collections comes from the academic schools and departments in which they are fully embedded:
- The Ure Museum forms part of the Department of Classics
- The Cole Museum and the Herbarium are both based within the University’s School of Biological Sciences
- The Lettering, Printing and Graphic Design collections are part of the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication
- The Geology collection is preserved by the Department of Geography and Environmental Science
- The East German Studies Archive is held by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
The University of Reading’s largest, centrally held collections (The MERL, Special Collections and Art Collections) are part of an enormous range of partnerships within both the University and the wider research community. This includes community and enthusiast groups. Many of these partnerships are structured around the collections’ core themes and strengths, with key examples including food and nutrition, landscape and design and books, printing and publishing.
Digital humanities hub
Read more about how we support digital scholarship by providing collections based expertise, access to collections and engagement channels, acting as a repository and as a partner in research in to collections based practice.
Some examples of our current and past interdisciplinary work include:
Information Design and Architecture in Persuasive Pharmacy Space: combating AMR is an inter-disciplinary project bringing together academics and practitioners in graphic and information design, architecture, ergonomics and human factors, and pharmacy. The project aims to consider how to support one of the strategic aims of the UK 5-Year Antimicrobial Resistance strategy 2013–18: that is to ‘improve the knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance’. This AHRC funded project uses our Lettering, Printing and Graphic Design Collections.
The Farm-level Interdisciplinary approaches to Endemic Livestock Disease (FIELD) project researched the past, present and future of endemic livestock diseases, from scientific, social scientific and historical perspectives. It aimed to improve farming practices and reduce incidents of disease. This Wellcome funded project used the Museum of English Rural Life’s collections.
The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin’s Personal Cinema examined the work and archive of experimental film-maker Stephen Dwoskin by bringing together history, theory, artistic practice, digital forensics, data exploration and digital archives. This AHRC funded project used the University of Reading Special Collections.