Following the latest Government announcement that Berkshire will enter Tier 3 on Saturday 19 December 2020, we will be making some changes to our Special Collections Service in the New Year.

We will provide access to collections through the Special Collections Service reading room after the Christmas break, on Tuesday 5 January 2021, for academic research and teaching only. Where possible, this will be done through our digital access to collections service. You can find out more about our collections through our Special Collections website.

Please check for further updates in line with Government guidance.

The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) will close from 5pm on Friday 18 December until further notice. This includes the museum galleries, shop, café and garden.

If you would like to make a reading room booking, please ensure that you read the updated reading room guidance before contacting us as we have made a number of changes to our service.

Please note that we can only accept bookings in advance, and that our reading room is operating with reduced opening hours:

Tuesday-Thursday: 9.30am-12.30pm, 1.30pm-4.00pm (we close for an hour at lunch)
(Closed Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Entry will continue to be via the MERL reception.

Please note that due to the closure of the MERL public galleries, we cannot guarantee that refreshment facilities will be available on site.

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