Photographing Reading Museum

Reading museum is in some ways a fairly typical mid-sized municipal museum. The collection for the the most part is the usual mix of stuff that the council just accumulated over the years, stuff from local manufacturers and random odds and ends. They do however have most of the stuff from Silchester Roman Town which is quite impressive and includes the Silchester eagle.

Photography is allowed but the whole place is so dark that it presents a serious challenge. To the museum’s credit they do have a sign that admits the problem and provides an explanation. The reasons given are fairly standard. To protect some of the objects, as a condition of some loans and because they simply don’t have the money to improve the lighting situation.

Beyond the eagle the Silchester gallery contains a mix of rather random masonry and various metallic items such as the Silchester horse, coins and rings. If wikipedia every expands its coverage of Silchester Roman Town there is some seriously useful stuff there but the light levels would remain a challenge to the point where it might be worth using a canon’s 50mm f/1.2L USM lens with an extension tube although the limited depth of field would likely present problems in many cases.

As for the rest of the museum the natural history collection is fairly well let but doesn’t contain much out of the ordinary. The civil war is again fairly typical (helmets, cannon balls and some related kit) and the poor lighting means that photos from elsewhere are likely to be better. Much the same applies to the various coins on display.

The collection related to Huntley and palmers biscuits is rather nice but would require some serious heavy lifting on the copyright front to sort out. Or we could just wait 20 years by which time most of the copyrights will have expired if they haven’t already done so.

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