29 Jun 2020
Update on reopening (29th June 2020)
We welcome the Government's announcement that museums will be able to reopen from the 4th July following changes to coronavirus (Covid-19) policy. Reading Museum will not be opening straight away, but we are working hard to ensure the museum will be a safe and welcoming place for staff and visitors, and will share our plans when we have more news.
We have greatly missed seeing our visitors, but we have been overjoyed by how so many of you have visited us online and explored the stories of our collections. We cannot wait to welcome you back and return in person to the brilliant community of Reading.
In the meantime, we will continue using our website and social media to share brand new exhibitions, our collections, blogposts, and arts and crafts to do at home. You can discover all these fantastic resources across our website and in the list below. You can also browse our online shop for unique gifts either reflecting Reading and the local area or inspired by the Museum's collection.
Explore our collections and local history online
Here’s how you can explore our collections and engage with us online:
- For a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane, our collections website contains thousands of photographs and objects from the Museum’s collection that are available to view for free! This includes almost two thousand photos from the Reading Chronicle Collection taken between 1938 and 1962.
- Browse our new ANIMAL: World Art Journeys online tour, blogs and activities.
- Explore our new VE 75 pages including images of Reading's victory street parties in 1945.
- Learn about the history of the Windrush with our Windrush Day 2020 resources, co-created with Reading's Caribbean community, including a brand new online exhibition produced by Barbados Museum & Historical Society.
- Discover Reading's famous full-size Victorian version of the Bayeux Tapestry in its entirety on it own dedicated Britain's Bayeux Tapestry website.
- Enjoy almost one hundred articles on the Reading Museum blog written by museum staff and guest experts exploring local history and our collections, with subjects ranging from Bagpuss and Reading-at-war, to tales of the ghosts of Reading Abbey.
- We keep a collection of over one thousand loan boxes that we usually lend to local schools, covering a wide range of national curriculum topics and subjects, which can all be viewed online on our museum loan boxes page! For children currently studying at home, there's so much to be discovered here!
- We hold the collections of iconic biscuit manufacturers Huntley and Palmers. Browse all of their remarkable tins and learn about an important part of local history over at the Huntley & Palmers website.
- Explore our interactive online map of Reading's historic Abbey Quarter and journey into a thousand years of history from your own home. We have also created a 3D virtual model of Reading Abbey as it was in 1539, just before it was dissolved by King Henry VIII. Download and explore via Sketchfab.
- Visit the Reading Museum YouTube channel, where you can find two interviews with Paddington Bear author Michael Bond talking about his narrow escape from the 1943 air raid on Reading.
- You can explore the museum's oil paintings on the Art UK website.
- Go to Historypin to see hundreds of old photos from our collection pinned onto a map so you can see then and now.
- The Reading Foundation for Art’s collection is cared for by the Museum and includes works by important modern British artists such as Paul Nash, Mary Fedden and Terry Frost.
- And don't forget to explore the online resources of Reading's other major museum The Museum of English Rural Life!
We are sharing resources to help you with fun learning and enjoyment at home. Discover downloadable resources, ideas and inspiration for all ages over at our resources page.
Pop back soon as we will keep adding new content!
We are continuing to keep in touch on social media! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Our online shop showcases a range of unique gifts either reflecting Reading and the local area or inspired by the Museum's collection. Every purchase made in our Shop goes towards supporting the Museum. You can purchase our best selling products online now.