Annie Ure joined The Abbey in 1941 as a teacher in Latin and Ancient Greek, and stayed throughout the 1950s. By teaching and working as a university librarian she was able to fund her way through higher education. Her studies at the University of Reading then enabled her to become one of the most established and successful architects of Greek pottery of the time.
The suffragette movement gained notoriety whilst Annie was a student. Although she was a feminist, she – along with many of her counterparts studying at universities at the time – felt unable to join in with the movement, as her scholarship could be redacted. Annie felt that she could contribute more, and give a better voice, to the protests if she completed her degree and established herself professionally. She proved that women can be educated, determined and passionate – many of the qualities needed for (and sometimes missing in) politics.
Annie married her former tutor, Percy Ure, in 1918 and three years later he joined her on her first excavation in Greece. She stayed after the excavation to curate and catalogue the artifacts that she had uncovered.
Annie became a specialist in Greek pottery and, with her husband, co-authored several important books and over 50 published articles. In 1922 the pair founded Reading's Museum of Greek Archaeology, now named the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology in their honor.
At the official launch of ‘Annie’s Box’ at the University of Reading this week visitors could view 3D printed objects and postcards which explore different aspects of her life. A postcard of her teaching timetable, which shows all of the Latin and Ancient Greek classes she taught, can be found inside.
When the objects are placed on the reader next to the box, they spring to life as the story behind the piece is told, either from the point of view of Annie, or the object itself.
History truly comes to life with this interactive mini museum.