Inkwells National Museums Scotland collections contain a huge variety of objects and specimens. We want to encourage wider engagement with the collections and increase opportunities for them to be seen in new venues by new audiences. The inkwells shown here are all available for long or short term loan. The art of writing Inkwells were widely used from the Middle Ages to the middle of the 20th century, before the development of the fountain pen and eventually the ball-point pen made them obsolete. Throughout their history inkwells were made from many materials, but here are a selection of European glass and ceramic examples. Ordinary folk would have dipped their pens into the ink bottle, but the wealthy could purchase inkwells to show off their status or interests. Today we often text or e-mail to communicate with each other, but these inkwells represent a time when communication was perhaps slower, but the trappings more beautiful. Find out how to request a loan and see other collections available here.