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Sold out Event National Museum of Scotland

The Declaration of Arbroath: Insights from the Archives

20 Jun 2023
14:00 - 15:00


Adult/Over 60: £3

Member/Student/Concession: £2


This event is BSL interpreted

Mike Brooks © Queen’s Printer for Scotland, National Records of Scotland

Mike Brooks © Queen’s Printer for Scotland, National Records of Scotland

Inspired by a rare chance to see The Declaration of Arbroath, curator Dr Alice Blackwell and National Records Scotland conservator, Hazel de Vere, discuss its historical significance and material fragility.

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
- The Declaration of Arbroath

Dated to 6 April 1320, the Declaration of Arbroath is widely seen as Scotland’s most iconic document. The letter was written by the barons and freeholders of the Kingdom of Scotland to Pope John XXII, asking the pope to recognise Scotland's independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king.

The surviving Declaration is a medieval copy of the letter, the original having been dispatched to the pope in Avignon. It is cared for by National Records of Scotland and is so fragile that it can only be displayed occasionally to ensure its long-term preservation.

Now sold out, the event marks this significant opportunity to see the world-famous, 700-year-old document by exploring the wider historical context of The Declaration of Arbroath and the contemporary challenges of preserving it for future generations.

Featuring Dr Alice Blackwell, Senior Curator of Medieval Archaeology and History at National Museums Scotland, and Hazel de Vere, Book and Paper Conservator at National Records Scotland.

This event includes audience Q&A. Our exhibition The Declaration of Arbroath is free entry and will be open to visit on the day.

BSL interpretation for this event will be provided. Seats will be reserved in the front two rows of the auditorium for people who would like to maximise the visibility of the interpreter.


After the presentation there will be time for audience questions, submitted digitally via mobile phone. Full details will be explained on the day. Questions can also be submitted in advance by emailing

Getting here

Enter the museum from the main public entrance on Chambers Street.

National Museum of Scotland

Chambers Street



Map and directions

Visiting safely

Safety measures are in place to ensure your visit is as safe and enjoyable as possible. Current visiting information can be found on our Plan Your Visit pages.


We want everyone who comes to our museums to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. 

  • There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge.  
  • Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. 
  • There is an induction loop in the Auditorium.
  • Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted. 
  • BSL interpretation for this event will be provided by Deaf Action Scotland. The interpreter will be situated on the House Left, seats will be reserved in the front two rows.
  • Find out more about our access information. If you have any questions about accessing this event, please email us in advance at

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Ticketing Terms & Conditions

National Museums Scotland have a non-refundable and non-transferable ticketing policy. Please refer to our full Ticketing Terms and Conditions here.

The Declaration of Arbroath exhibition is in partnership with the National Records of Scotland.

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