A priceless pictorial record of agriculture

THOUSANDS OF historic photographs published in farmers weekly over the past 70 years have been preserved in a year-long conservation project at the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading.

The 750,000 photographs, some from the Farmer and Stockbreeder magazine, illustrate all aspects of farming and rural life. Images include farm labour, wartime farming, agricultural shows, farm animals, machinery, crops, crafts, events and farm personalities.

Some of the more unusual images include a horse fitted with a gas mask in the 1940s and a camel carrying crop-spraying equipment.

Together with the photographic collection, the museum houses an archive of back issues of rural titles, including farmers weekly, together with horse-drawn equipment, vintage tractors and rural artefacts.

Visitors who want to consult the library or archive collections are asked to make an appointment, specifying their requirements.

The museum is currently moving to new premises but can be contacted at: The Museum of English Rural Life and Rural History Centre, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 229, Reading RG6 6AG. Enquires can also be made by phone (0118 378 8660), fax (0118 975 1264) or email (rhc@reading.ac.uk)

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