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Frances Farquharson's tartan suit

This dramatic suit was worn by the flamboyant fashion editor turned Highland society hostess Frances Farquharson.

Meissen lion

The Meissen lion is part of the animal menagerie commissioned by Augustus II the Strong in the early 18th century.

West, South and Southeast Asia

Our West, South and Southeast Asian collections contain more than 17,000 objects, giving insight into the lives of past and present people across a vast geographical area.

A two-coloured mason bee in mid flight, carrying a piece of straw to add to its a growing pile.
Audio-Described Access Evening: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Explore Wildlife Photographer of the Year with an audio-described tour for those who are blind, partially sighted or visually impaired.

Crozier and Coigreach of St Fillan

This beautiful medieval bishop’s crook and silver-gilt case, or Coigreach, are associated with St Fillan of Perthshire, and are among our most important medieval church artefacts.

The Circular Economy

Discover more about the Circular Economy through the Making Circles schools project, led by Ostrero.

Comparative analysis of vestibular ecomorphology in birds

Is it possible to infer the agility or manoeuvrability of a fossil animal from the shape of its labyrinth?

Two visitors looking at a series of Japanese prints on a wall.


Napier's bones

Napier’s ‘bones’ or ‘rods’ are just one of the methods invented by the Edinburgh-born Renaissance scholar John Napier to speed up calculations.

Chains tapestry

Huge chains strike the eye with a comic book grandeur. Yet this is no comic or Pop Art painting but an Archie Brennan tapestry from 1977 entitled Chains.

Two children looking at three different sizes of cat skulls
Préparez votre visite

Préparez votre visite du Musée national d'Écosse.

Front half of a Scottish wildcat snarling at something in a grassy area.
Scottish wildcat

Rarer than the tiger, the Scottish wildcat is Britain's last native cat species. Find out more about this elusive feline and the efforts being made to ensure it has a future.

Lulu the killer whale

Lulu came from the only killer whale pod in the UK and was found dead on Tiree in 2016. She had the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls ever recorded from a marine mammal.

Jacobite heroine: Snuffbox associated with Flora MacDonald

Flora MacDonald famously helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape. This snuffbox, an heirloom of her clan, links the romantic pair.

Slides: Micro-worlds in a box

As microscopes became increasingly popular, so did companies that specialized in slide preparation.

Gold-wrapped jar laid on its side with the base facing forward. Gold thread forms letters around its edge.
The Galloway Hoard rock crystal jar

A unique jar of rock crystal and gold from the Galloway Hoard with a fascinating history – and an intriguing name on it.

Triumph of Prudence tapestry

Hung in Europe’s most noble households, this luxurious tapestry belongs to a Flemish set known as The Triumph of the Seven Virtues. It was woven in Brussels during the early 16th century.

James VI and I

James VI and I was a hugely significant Stewart king, but has been overshadowed by his notorious relations: his predecessor in Scotland, his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots; in England, his cousin, Elizabeth I; and his successor in both kingdoms, Charles I.

How to make a Recyclesaurus

Make your own upcycled dinosaur from left over cardboard. How about creating a terrific T Rex, a stunning Stegosaursus or a dapper Diplodocus?

EMAS: The first bionic arm

Scotland Creates volunteer Aileen Miller explains why this pioneering Edinburgh Modular Arm System (EMAS) is so awesome

Box of Amenhotep II

This box inscribed with the name of Pharaoh Amenhotep II is one of the finest examples of decorative woodwork to survive from ancient Egypt.

The Eglinton tournament: the quest for authenticity

In August 1839, Lord Eglinton held a mock-medieval tournament at his estate in North Ayrshire, Scotland. The event was hugely popular, and around 100,000 people attended. Step onto the battlefield and discover some of the objects associated with this flamboyant festival here.

Scotland’s Fabulous Geology

Natural Sciences staff have been participating in this year's Scottish Geology Festival.

Gothic Revival vase by William Burges

This elaborate 19th century vase was created by the architect and designer William Burges, and formed part of his opulent interior decoration design for Cardiff Castle.

Culture vessel

This simple looking object made it possible for the first clinical trials and batch production of penicillin to take place. Its design marks a significant milestone in the history of medicine.

Hamilton-Rothschild tazza

This Byzantine sardonyx bowl mounted on a 16th-century gold stand is truly a magnificent object.

Relic of an Egyptian bowl.
An Egyptian Luxury in Roman Scotland

Discover how research and collecting at National Museums Scotland is reshaping understandings of Scotland in the past as we take a closer look at a very special Roman object with surprising Egyptian origins.

A hippopotamus and her two offspring resting in the clear water of a shallow lake.
BSL Tours: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Explore Wildlife Photographer of the Year with a BSL tour for those who are Deaf/BSL users.

MinION DNA sequencing machine

Science and Technology volunteer Susanne Hotvedt introduces this powerful piece of small technology.

Digital scan of the Galloway Hoard silver vessel in full with lid on, placed on a marble table
The Galloway Hoard vessel

The lidded vessel which contained the Galloway Hoard's most precious treasures is itself a revelation.

A red motor car in the Science and Technology galleries.
Planifique su visita

Planifique su visita al Museo Nacional de Escocia.

Two visitors look at a large tapestry hanging on a wall.
Ullaich do thuras

Ullaich do thuras gu Taigh-tasgaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba.

A visitor looking at a sculpture bust.
Pianificare una visita

Pianificare una visita al Museo Nazionale della Scozia.

A child plays with a puzzle display in the World Cultures galleries.
Planowanie wizyty

Planowanie wizyty w Narodowym Muzeum Szkocji.

The Cossar newspaper printing press

Discover how this unique piece of Scottish printing heritage found a new home at the National Museums Collection Centre – bringing with it a sprinkle of Harry Potter magic!

Allegro dining suite

The design of this elegant modernist dining suite was once admired by the Queen Mother. Now extremely rare, it makes a significant new addition to the national collection.

Coronation ampulla of Charles I

This curious object, one of the earliest surviving pieces of Scottish-made gold, was used at the Scottish coronation of Charles I, held some eight years after his coronation in London.

Dolly the sheep in a glass case surrounded by vehicle displays in the Science and Technology galleries.


Bruce-Oosterwijck sea clock

This historic Bruce-Oosterwijck pendulum sea clock played an important role in the long quest for a practical way of determining longitude at sea; a problem that made sea voyages incredibly hazardous.

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