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Our collections represent astonishing diversity, from fossils showing evidence of the earliest forms of life, to the rich artefact collections representing other world cultures. Within our collections departments, our staff hold a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Our collections departments can provide expert advice on collections, their identification, care and management to representatives from organisations holding a public collection in Scotland.

Requests can be made by email to the relevant member of staff in our Collections Directorate. Our directory is organised to help you find the support and advice you are looking for. Our Guide to Collections Advice tells you what advice we can offer you and how.

If you need help to identify the member of staff who is most relevant to your enquiry or have any questions about this guidance, please contact


Art and Design department

Our Art, Design and Fashion collections provide a broad picture of European, including British, achievements from AD1100 onwards.

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The top of a green dress designed by Bernat Klein

Natural Sciences department

Our Natural Sciences collections cover both life sciences and earth sciences.

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two beetles from the Entomology collection

Science and Technology department

Ours is one of the most important collections of scientific and technological material in Britain.

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an early Motorola portable phone with base unit

Scottish History and Archaeology department

Our archaeological and Scottish collections cover Scottish material culture from the earliest times to the present day.

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a medieval silver brooch

World Cultures department

Our World Cultures collections include internationally important material from across the globe.

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A Japanese statue

Collections Services department

The Collections Services department manages and cares for our collections.

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A conservator cleaning a case containing the Lewis chess pieces
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