National Museums Scotland works with museums across Scotland to share collections, knowledge and skills and provide support, advice and training to the wider sector.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on museums across the country we will be regularly adding to and updating the advice and support we offer to our colleagues in other Scottish museums.  

We will also be working with support agencies across the country to target our input, to respond to the developing needs of our sector and to plan for the future together.

We will post regular updates on our website and on Twitter (@NMSPartnerships).

COVID-19 Advice for Museums

We can currently offer the following situation-specific advice: 

  • Collections Care: advice and guidance on monitoring collections during COVID-19 outbreak and in response to restrictions in place
  • Loans: advice and guidance on rearranging loans and temporary exhibitions
  • Schools: Developing your work with schools, either through online delivery or in preparation for when schools reopen

Initially, requests for advice in these areas should be made by contacting:

Email: / Telephone: 0131 247 4024

Museum Fundraising Guidance

Museums and heritage organisations, large and small, have quickly felt the impact of closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Many face significant financial challenges as they try to model what the future holds for both their teams and the collections they care for. Whatever the organisation’s business model, good fundraising practice can be a cornerstone to recovery. National Museums Scotland have produced guidance which suggest practical ways to fundraise in consideration of the limitations of lockdown and closure. 

Collections Care during Lockdown

Anna Starkey, Collections Care Manager, recently spoke to Museums Galleries Scotland as part of the Museum Social Stand Up series about the processes in use across National Museums Scotland. In the video below, Anna describes the measures taken to perform collection care checks while all five NMS sites are all closed. 

UK Heads of Conservation Group have shared this guidance on the conservation and care of collections during the shutdown resulting from COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Waking up Collections

With museums and heritage organisation necessarily closed during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) lockdown, collections are being held dormant for a significant period, increasing the risk of general deterioration caused by the environment, pollutants and pests, as well as reduced levels of preventive monitoring and control. The UK Heads of Conservation Group and ICON have produced a guidance document on 'waking up' collections post-lockdown. 

Schools Programming during Lockdown

Sarah Cowie, Schools Learning Officer recently spoke to Museums Galleries Scotland as part of the Museum Social Stand Up series about changes to our Schools programme. In the video below, Sarah describes how the approach has shifted due to remote working.

National Museums Scotland’s Learning and Programmes team have produced guidance to offer practical ways in which museums can continue to develop their schools learning offer. 

Teachers' Survey on Digital Learning

The closure of Scottish schools on 20 March 2020 due to COVID -19 led to a wholesale move to digital, home-based learning for pupils and teachers. National Museums Scotland launched a survey on 19 June 2020 to capture the experiences of teachers providing digital learning across Scotland during this time period, as well as ideas for ongoing engagement in the new school year.

This report sets out the key findings of the questionnaire from 19 June until 2 July (the end of the Scottish summer term) during which time 333 responses were collected. The questionnaire will remain open until 31 August and a second report will follow in September summarising the overall findings and key differences between the two time periods. 

National Programme: General Advice

  • National Fund for Acquisitions: funding for acquisitions and related advice. 

The National Fund for Acquisitions has launched a Special Funding Scheme to help museums which are struggling to raise match funding for acquisitions. Click here for more details. 

We are continuing to accept applications for support from the National Fund for Acquisitions while working remotely. Please contact us at to discuss potential acquisitions.

We can pay any outstanding grants if you submit your grant claim form (let us know if you need a copy of the form). We can also delay grant payments beyond our usual three-month deadline if that is what is required.

Email: / Telephone: 0131 247 4106

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