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School Loans Collection

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A School Loans Collection box on the Ancient Greeks from the 1950s.

Reading Museum's loan box scheme is one of the oldest and best known in the country. It started in 1911 when local schools borrowed items including Egyptian pottery, fossils, the head of a double-horned ram and a badger. Now we have over 20,000 objects available to borrow in more than 1500 boxes.

The objects cover all disciplines. Schools can borrow boxes containing an Ancient Greek pot or twentieth century works by local artists. The collection's range and the opportunity for children to experience hands-on learning make it a valuable tool for schools.

In 2004 the museum obtained a 1 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to update all the boxes. Over the next four years the boxes were modernised and improved packing material was used for the long term preservation of the objects. Information sheets were introduced to explain many of the collections. This successful project culminated in Reading Museum being longlisted for the 2009 Art Fund Prize.

See related objects

Reading Museum's school loans collection