New Beckett letters acquired

Five letters and three postcards from Samuel Beckett to the Israeli scriptwriter and journalist Mira Avrech have been acquired by Special Collections. The letters date from 1967 to 1974, and may be found under reference MS 5515. Copies of these items are now available for consultation in the reading room. Beckett is believed to have […]

New featured item: Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiae Thesaurus

James Anderson, Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiae Thesaurus, 1739 James Anderson (1662–1728) was a Scottish historiographer and antiquary. Born in Edinburgh in 1662, the son of a Presbyterian minister, he studied law at the University of Edinburgh from 1677 until 1680. As a lawyer, he was required to study old charters and documents, and became interested in antiquarian scholarship, eventually abandoning the legal profession altogether. He first […]

New display: Huntley & Palmers: A Christmas Selection

Our new display, in the staircase hallway until the New Year, features a wide range of Huntley and Palmers Christmas biscuit packaging – from the weird to the wonderful. Drop by to see it next time you’re in! Huntley & Palmers started life in 1822 as a small bakery in London Street, Reading. In 1846 […]

Mark Longman Library … some before and after.

I began reclassifying the Mark Longman Library 4 or 5 years ago as a background task.  I am a Library Assistant in the cataloging department at Special Collections and my priority is to support the librarian and the cataloguer and then Reading Room duty; much of my time is spent  fetching, returning and problem solving. […]

Book binding for beginners: conservation training

Written by Claire Wooldridge, UMASCS Graduate Trainee Library Assistant As the library graduate trainee here at the University of Reading’s Special Collections Service, I am fortunate enough to get lots of opportunities for training in all aspects of rare books, from manufacture and repair, to descriptive cataloguing, to their use in publications and for social […]

Top Ten Treasures from the Archives: Owen Jones

Our collections richer than most people would imagine and cover a wide variety of subjects and historical periods. To give you an idea of what’s there, University Archivist Guy Baxter will be introducing his ‘Top Ten Treasures’ over the coming weeks, picking highlights from the archive collections here at Reading. Enjoy! Treasure Number 3: Owen […]

The word spreads about ‘Reading at War’… even Tony Blackburn’s talking about it!

The Reading Connections project aims to develop community engagement through the creation of digital resources, oral histories, exhibitions around the theme of ‘Reading at War’ and local Reading photography based on a partnership MERL and Reading Museum. Here, Reading at War Project Officer Phillipa Heath talks about the Memorial Book and local interest in it. At […]