Early Prehistory collections encompass Europe north of the Alps and span at least 50,000 years, ranging from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Bronze Age. Most of the items are from Scotland and date to between the eighth and the first millennium BC; they include objects of stone, pottery, bone, antler and wood.
Iron Age, Roman and Early Historic collections cover the period from c.800BC – AD1100, the formative centuries of Scotland as a nation.
The wide-ranging material in our Scottish history collections includes military, numismatics and social history. It is the largest collection of its kind anywhere and aims to be a comprehensive record of the life, times and achievements of the people of Scotland at home and abroad.
Until December 2017, the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology is heavily committed to a major collections move and documentation project as well as fundraising to save the Galloway Hoard. This particularly affects the Medieval, Early Modern and Late Modern collections, including those at the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. During the period March–December 2017 we regret that for these collections we will be unable to offer our normal levels of service for research enquiries and requests to see objects in store. We are keeping a log of requests and meeting these wherever possible, but please be patient as we may be unable to answer your questions or make viewing arrangements until after completion of the project.
Responsible for: The Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, its staff, projects and collections.
Research interests: Late medieval and early Renaissance Scotland.
Responsible for: The Scottish Late Modern section, with collections from late mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Individual specialism in the military collections from c.1600 to the present day: military service issue weapons, orders and medals, uniform and insignia, fine art, photographs and documents. Also oversight of the bagpiping collection.
Research interests: Collecting, material culture and Scottish traditional identities, the Scottish military tradition in the British armed forces; the material culture of 'highland-ism'; the cultural symbolism of weapons; military collectors and collecting practices; the culture of irregular warfare; the material culture of popular patriotism during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Responsible for: The Early Prehistory section, spanning the Palaeolithic to the end of the Bronze Age; individually responsible for the Neolithic collections and human remains, and co-ordination of Departmental radiocarbon dating activities.
Research interests: Neolithic and Bronze Age material culture, especially pottery, axeheads, jet, faience and amber; Neolithisation; human remains; radiocarbon dating.
You can find out more about Dr Alison Sheridan here.
Responsible for: Co-ordinating and supervising access to the Early and Later Prehistory Section collections by visiting scholars, students and TV crews; maintenance of our displays in the Early People Gallery at National Museum of Scotland; facilitating temporary loan requests from borrowing museums for exhibitions.
Responsible for: Iron Age and Roman collections.
Research interests: Iron Age and Roman material culture; decorative metalwork and Celtic art; jet and related materials; interactions between Rome and the indigenous population.
You can find out more about Dr Fraser Hunter here.
Responsible for: Early Historic and Viking collections.
Research interests: Material culture in Northern Britain from Later Prehistory to the Early Historic period; Silver – use and manufacture from Roman to Viking period; material culture approaches to the holistic study of ancient religion and ritual practice.
Responsible for: Graphic and digital imaging for media/publication; co-ordinating department loans and department photographic requests; maintenance of our displays in National Museum of Scotland; support to all curators from Early Prehistory and Later Prehistory sections whenever object movement is required.
Responsible for: Undertaking and promoting research on early medieval Scotland as part of the Glenmorangie Research Project.
Research interests: Early medieval metalwork, especially silver; early medieval sculpture; early medieval to modern glass beads.
You can find out more about the Glenmorangie Research Project here.
Responsible for: The management and overall curation of the section’s collections, which span the history and archaeology of Scotland from c.1100-1750. This encompasses medieval archaeology, applied arts, Scottish weapons, early modern history and culture. And most notably includes our Mary, Queen of Scots and Jacobite material; objects relating to Scotland’s religious and ecclesiastical history, including the Covenanters; clarsachs; and Scottish carved woodwork. The section has particular responsibility for Kingdom of the Scots and Scotland Transformed, on Levels 1-3 of the Scotland galleries of the National Museum of Scotland.
Research interests: The material culture: of religion since 1560; of the Scottish diaspora; and material cultural expressions of Scottish national identity.
Responsible for: Medieval ceramics; silver; horological collections; charms and amulets; ivory carvings; numismatics; banknotes.
Research interests: Silver, 18th century design and form; clocks and their makers; the relationship of material culture with the historic interior.
Responsible for: Supporting the work of the Medieval – Early Modern section; co-ordinating and supervising access to the Medieval Early Modern collections; maintenance of the displays on Levels 0-3 in the Scotland galleries of the National Museum of Scotland; facilitating outward loans to borrowing museums for exhibitions
Responsible for: Collections relating to all aspects of rural life in Scotland from c.1750 to present day, Scottish history collections 1837-1945.
Research interests: First and Second World Wars, in particular the Women's Land Army and Arctic Convoys of WWII, women's history throughout the period.
You can find out more about Elaine Edwards here.
Responsible for: Social and domestic history collections c.1750 to the present day, and the Scottish history collections c.1945 to the present day, including the contemporary collecting strategy.
Research interests: Contemporary collecting and documentation, and collaborative collecting with other organisations; oral history; archival storage and documentation. She is a committee member of Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group (www.svbwg.org.uk) and Scottish Working People's History Trust (www.swpht.org.uk).
Responsible for: Supporting curatorial activity across the Scottish Late Modern section, covering collections from 1750-1914.
Responsible for: Supporting curatorial activity facross the Scottish Late Modern section, covering collections from 1914 to the present day.
Responsible for: Post-excavation projects - coordinating specialist work and writing reports.
Research interests: Material culture c.1000 BC – AD 1000, particularly the development of ironworking and iron objects throughout this period (part of on-going PhD research).
Responsible for: Research associated with the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project ‘Baggage and Belonging: Military Collections and the British Empire, 1750-1900’ examining the diverse nature of objects collected by members of the British armed forces across the Empire in the nineteenth century.
Research interests: The material culture of conflict; collecting practices of the British armed forces; the arms and armour of India, Africa and the Middle East; the military, cultural and intellectual history of the British Empire.
Responsible for: Treasure Trove objects and assemblages.
Research interests: Material culture 1100-1800, Medieval and later rural settlement, archaeologies of conflict and ploughzone archaeology.
Tel: 0131 247 4355
You can find out more about Stuart Campbell here.
Responsible for: Daily running of the Treasure Trove Unit operation, outreach.
Research interests: Conflict archaeology – in particular the heritage management of battlefields and interactions with metal detectorists; Early Modern material culture (1600-1800), landscape archaeology, archaeology and education.
Tel: 0131 247 4082
You can find out more about Dr Natasha Ferguson here.
Tel: 0131 247 4217