From butterflies to dinosaur bones, motorbikes to traction engines – the material gathered here is as diverse as it is vast. The stored material enables us to refresh exhibitions and study subjects in depth.
On our guided tours of the Collection Centre, you’ll discover how we access, research and prepare collections not on display, meeting specialists from our curatorial and collections care teams to learn more about how we look after our internationally important collections.
Tours are free but book up quickly. Find out more about the tours here.
National Museums Scotland welcomes formal and informal research enquiries about our collections and specimens that are on display at our four museum sites or held at our National Museum Collections Centre.
If you wish to research the collections, please contact the relevant curatorial department. Appointments have to be made in advance and we advise two working weeks as a minimum application turnaround. All research applications will be assessed according to departmental availability.
If you wish to enquire about access to the collections for scientific research, please contact the relevant curatorial department, who will refer the enquiry to the Collections Science team for review.
If you wish to view collections or specimens from the Natural Sciences, Scottish History and Archaeology or World Cultures collections, please contact the relevant department or curator regarding arrangements.
The Collection Centre has facilities for undertaking research on collections, as well as conservation and scientific research laboratories. Analytical equipment ranges from PDA-UPLC, XRF, SEM-EDX to XRD and FTIR.
In conjunction with the redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland we built two new buildings at Granton, providing state-of-the-art conservation laboratories and enhanced storage for the national collections.
National Museums Collection Centre
242 West Granton Road
Edinburgh EH5 1JA
Tel: 0131 247 4470
The National Galleries of Scotland also has a purpose-built storage building on site holding some of their reserve painting and sculpture collections. For information on access to that part of the site, please contact the National Galleries of Scotland directly.