See town’s Christmasses past thanks to Reading Musuem

A screenshot from the new online collection of Reading Museum Reading Museum

Scrooge will be delighted – he can explore Reading’s Christmasses past without having to worry about waking up any old ghosts.

Previously unpublished pictures from the town’s history have been published online and includes an amazing gallery of Christmas-related images from the old Berkshire Chronicle.

They include a display of Christmas trees on Jackson’s Corner, carol singing nurses, Father Christmas arriving on his sleigh, Nativity plays at Christ Church Primary School and the crowds battling to find that perfect Christmas present.

It’s all part of an amazing new initiative from Reading Museum that enables you to explore its vast collection without leaving your home. More than 2,700 items have been digitised and uploaded onto a special website, enabling desktop viewers to explore at their leisure.

The Christmas pictures are just some of nearly 2,000 pictures showcasing Reading life over the 20th century.

The objects from around the world feature beautiful and unusual artefacts that were gifts from local people, usually gathered during foreign trips and missionary work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Research by the project team has now highlighted the links between these artefacts and some of Reading’s most influential business families, including the Colliers, Suttons and Palmers.

As the site expands, it will become a ‘shop window’ for the museum’s diverse archaeology, art, natural history, social history and world collections. It is the result of funding from Arts Council England.

Paul Gittings, Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Protection said: “This amazing new online resource gives people even greater digital access to the Museum’s important local and international collections. There are many unique and unusual treasures to be discovered from Reading’s past.

“It has been achieved through an ongoing partnership between Reading Museum and the Museum of English Rural Life, thanks to generous funding from Arts Council England”.

The website can be found at It is also available on a kiosk on the Museum’s ground floor.