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The National Museums Collections Centre in Granton, Edinburgh is a specialist facility where we care for and research our collections.

From whale skeletons and insects to motorbikes and high fashion, the Collections Centre holds millions of objects and specimens.

Textile Conservation National Museums Scotland

Textile conservation in action at the National Museums Collection Centre.

What we do

The Collections Centre is a hub for cutting-edge research and innovation, training and teaching, as well as the preparation of collections for exhibition, loan, and tour. The work we carry out and facilitate there includes research, scientific analysis, conservation, and digitisation.

  • From stabilising ancient papyrus and cleaning fragile textiles to conserving large engines with moving parts, our collections care and conservation teams care for a vast range of collections. In addition, the Natural Sciences team prepares specimens for display and research, with their work ranging from taxidermy to fossil preparation.
  • Digitising our collections helps us to find out more about them, create detailed visual records and share them online. The Collections Centre is the focal point for our programme of digitisation producing hundreds of thousands of records and images of our collections which can be viewed on the Explore section of our website.
  • We lend collections to museums and institutions in the UK and internationally and receive loans for display in our own museums. You can find out more about how to borrow on the Loans from our Collection section of our website.
  • We facilitate research loans from our Natural Sciences collection to enable specimens to be studied closely. Please contact our Natural Sciences team to learn more. 
  • In addition to carrying out our own research, each year we welcome hundreds of visiting researchers from across the world. Our specialist labs and study areas facilitate the in-depth exploration of our collections. At this time due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, we are  unable to welcome researchers to the National Museums Collection Centre with the exception of essential site visits. However, we are responding to research enquires remotely where we can. If you have a research enquiry, please contact the relevant curatorial department.

Conservation at National Museums Collection Centre

Conserving a Venetian Guitar. 

Collection Centre tours

We offer visitors the chance to explore our work behind the scenes at the Collections Centre on regular guided tours.

For those with specialist interests in specific areas of our collections, we organise study visits as well as tours for students, groups and societies. We also host artists and designers who are looking for inspiration, and members of diaspora communities.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, we have paused guided tours of the Collection Centre. We aim to resume these as restrictions ease.

Textiles at National Museums Scotland

Showcasing the textile collections.

Collection Centre facilities

The Collection Centre has facilities to access, research, digitise and conserve collections. This includes specialist conservation laboratories, photography studios, collection research spaces, as well as heritage science laboratories with equipment ranging from PDA-UPLC, XRF, SEM-EDX to XRD and FTIR.

Building 17 at National Museums Collection Centre

State-of-the-art collections storage and research facilities at the National Museums Collection Centre.

Photography and Research NMCC

Colleagues based at the National Museums Collection Centre hold a wide range of collections expertise.

Future plans

The City of Edinburgh Council has outlined ambitious plans to regenerate the Granton Waterfront area. National Museums Scotland is one of the partners on this project, which is committed to making Granton Waterfront one of Edinburgh’s best places to live, work, learn and visit. 

We share some facilities at the Collections Centre with National Galleries of Scotland, and we are working with them to align our future plans to develop collection facilities making them more accessible to visitors.

How to find us

National Museums Collection Centre

242 West Granton Road
Edinburgh EH5 1JA
Tel: 0131 247 4470

Taxidermy at National Museums Collection Centre

The National Museums Collection Centre houses an extensive Natural Sciences collection.


National Museums Collection Centre
242 West Granton Road
Edinburgh EH5 1JA
Tel: 0131 247 4470

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