We can provide expert advice on collections, their identification, care and management. We also offer collections and skills training to museums in Scotland.

National Training Programme

Our National Training Programme provides collections knowledge and skills training for Scottish Museums. In 2019/20 National Museums Scotland delivered 277 learning experiences for 217 local museum staff from 66 organisations in 28 local authority areas. We covered topics such as caring for dress and textile collections, pest management, object labelling and couriering collections for loans.

Individuals either directly employed by, or volunteering with a museum organisation in Scotland, who can demonstrate the benefit of the training to their organisation's collections, are eligible to apply for a place on any of our advertised course.

Collections advice

Our collections departments directory is organised to help you find the support and advice you are looking for. Please see our Advising Museums Guide for more information on advice we can offer you and how. For more information, please contact the Partnerships team on partnerships@nms.ac.uk.

Guidance materials and resources

Our materials aim to offer simple How To guidance in areas we are often asked about, or to share National Museums Scotland practice in areas that may be of interest to a wider audience.

Case studies 

Introduction to the Care of Entomology Collections

The National Museums Collection Centre hosted an introduction to the care of insect collections to a group of curators. The training included developing skills such as specimen preparation, data capture and how to avoid pest infestation, all of which were summarised in a printed resource for each participant.

‘Excellent workshop providing lots of varied and useful information for me to take forward in my role.’ Course participant

‘A very friendly, relaxed approach led by three knowledgeable members of the Entomology team.’ Course participant

Building Skills: Introduction to Prehistory Collections in Scotland

This workshop was one in a series of five Scottish archaeology workshops. Participants came from museums across Scotland to learn how to identify, interpret and care for collections of Mesolithic, Neolithic, European Palaeolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and Human Remains. The workshop gave participants an opportunity to learn from the collections at the National Museums Collection Centre.

I feel like I have a broader and more useful knowledge of early archaeological material that will help me in my day to day work. I can put the objects I look after into context and will be able to deal better with enquiries.' Course Participant

I now understand much more about these periods and hope to update records in our collection.’ Course participant


Explore more

Pest management and labelling: an object lesson

Kate Smith, Documentation Officer at the David Livingstone Centre, reflects on the Integrated Pest Management and Object Labelling workshop she attended as part of the National Training Programme.
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