Go behind the scenes on a British Sign Language tour of our collections research centre for Scottish History and Archaeology and Natural Sciences in Granton, Edinburgh

For Deaf visitors and BSL users.

Ashleigh Whiffin leads a tour of the Natural Sciences collections. 

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at National Museums Scotland? On this guided tour you’ll visit our new state-of-the-art research facility for Scottish History and Archaeology and Natural Sciences and learn about how we care for our internationally important collections.

Natural Sciences

From fossils and rocks millions of years old to extinct or endangered animals and meteorites from outer space, our 10 million natural sciences objects and specimens help us understand the world around us.

Our zoology collection documents the incredible diversity of life on earth, from miniscule insects to mighty whales, and charts the evolution of life through ever-changing habitats. Comprising nearly two million specimens, our entomology collection is over 150 years in the making and contains material from all over the world. Our fossil fish and early tetrapod collections are among the largest and most diverse in the world.

Scottish History and Archaeology

Our archaeological and Scottish collections encompass Scotland’s history from the earliest times to the present day.

Our 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. Iron Age, Roman and Early Historic collections cover the period from c.800BC – AD1100, the formative centuries of Scotland as a nation.

From life at war to the story of Scottish emigration, the Union of the Parliaments to Devolution, our Scottish history collection is the largest of its kind anywhere, and provides a comprehensive record of the life, times and achievements of the people of Scotland at home and abroad.

Alison Sheridan leads a tour of the Scottish History and Archaeology collections. 

Getting to the Collection Centre

Please be aware that booking is essential and entry is by ticket only.

Please arrive 15 minutes before your tour is scheduled to start and report to Reception at the Gatehouse building on the right hand side of the entrance barrier.

There is no visitor parking available but there is on street parking within the vicinity. Further information on parking can be found at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/parking.

A number of parking spaces are available for Blue Badge holders and we can also accommodate bicycles. To book a Blue Badge parking space or discuss any access requirements, please contact Lee McCulley, Learning Officer (Adults) on 0131 247 4439 or l.mcculley@nms.ac.uk.

A number of buses run to NMCC from various parts of Edinburgh, including the 8, 16 and 32 Lothian Bus services. More details can be found on www.lothianbuses.com.

Please note that photography is prohibited unless your tour guide advises.

Explore more

National Museums Collection Centre

The National Museums Collection Centre provides a home for many of the objects and specimens that are not currently on display in our museums.

Natural Sciences department

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

Scottish History and Archaeology department

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

Explore our collections

Explore stories, films, games and resources from the museums’ collections.
Event information


19 Oct 2017
10:30 – 11:45


National Museums Collection Centre, 242 West Granton Road, Edinburgh, EH5 1JA

How much


Booking information

Book online or call 0300 123 6789.

Booking is essential and entry is by ticket only.

No visitor parking. On street parking within the vicinity.

Book now
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