Tools & Trades History Society



In July 2023 TATHS donated it's library to The University of Reading where it had been held at The Museum of English Rural Life. Following the donation MERL will begin to catalogue the collection with the main MERL Library and will place some books into the more accessible MERL library. The TATHS material will become better advertised than before and hopefully more used by researchers.

Conditions of the Donation Agreement allow further books to be added by TATHS and for any duplicate items to be offered back to TATHS.  All items will be marked as having come from TATHS and accredited to TATHS in the catalogue.  The Library will continue to be available for viewing as follows:

The TATHS Library contains around 1300 books, catalogues and videos on tools and trades, including many that are out of print. The Library Index is here

The Library is located at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading. It can be visited in the Reading Room without charge but it is necessary to make an appointment.

Some items may be temporarily removed by MERL for exhibition elsewhere and It is advisable to check with the Reading Room before making a visit to view a particular item.

The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am to 12.30am and 1.30pm to 4.00pm. Currently closed for lunch 12.30am to 1.30pm.. It is open to the public. To make an appointment, telephone: 0118 378 8660 or email

The Museum of English Rural Life, The University of Reading, Redlands Road, Reading RG1 5EX. Further information can be obtained on the MERL web site.

The Museum itself is well worth viewing and now has refreshments available in the cafe.

Latest Library News

Jane Rees (TATHS President) and Kate Arnold-Forster (University Museums and Special Collections Director) with the signed Donation Agreement on 18 July 2023.