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Scotland and the Caribbean

What do museum collections reveal about Britain’s and Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic slave system and the experiences of enslaved people?

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Discover Robert Burns

Get to know Scottish literary icon Robert Burns through remarkable objects in the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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Rediscovering Viking-age Scotland with Michael Wood

Acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood joined Dr Adrián Maldonado, Glenmorangie Research Fellow, to discuss Adrián’s new book, 'Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom'. The book reassesses the museum’s Viking-age collections, uncovering an exciting new vision of Scotland’s diverse and creative past.

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Objects associated with Robert Burns

A variety of objects relating to the life of Scotland's bard can be found in National Museums Scotland's collections.

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Scottish History and Archaeology department

Our collections represent Scottish material culture from the earliest times to the present day.

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New to the National Collection

New to the National Collection showcased the latest additions to our collections, including objects that will feature in ten new galleries in 2016.

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National work

We work across Scotland to share the national collections, engage with local communities, and provide support for our sector.

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Woolly mammoth tusks

Two pieces of tusk in our collection show that some woolly mammoths made their home in Scotland, while another provides early evidence of mammoths in North America.

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Atlantic slave trade learning resources

Discover how objects in the museum’s collections can help us explore Scotland’s involvement in the Atlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement.

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School Visits to Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder

Visit our Doctor Who World of Wonder exhibition with your class. Bookings are now open.

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Museum Moves: Family Yoga

Use these seven yoga based poses to move, stretch and get energised, inspired by our collections. You can do each one on its own or all seven together in a 'yoga flow'.

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New thinking, new collecting

This display highlights a small selection from our Scottish History & Archaeology collections, showing how research and collecting at National Museums Scotland is reshaping understandings of Scotland in the past, and reflecting the Scotland of today for future generations of museum visitors.

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Eigg's stegosaur

A 166 million-year-old dinosaur bone identified as the first stegosaur bone to be found in Scotland has been added to our collections after a lucky discovery on the Isle of Eigg by Dr Elsa Panciroli.

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Ancient Egypt and East Asia National Programme

The Ancient Egypt and East Asia National Programme was a two year project working with partner museums across Scotland to discover and reveal new and interesting stories about their ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean collections.

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The Art of African Metalwork

Discover how brass and copper once featured as mediums of exchange, status and power in Africa through highlights of the museum’s 19th and early 20th century collections from west and central Africa.

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Learning resources for schools

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

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Museum trails

Explore the museum collections and historic airfield with our family trails.

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Who was Robert Burns?

Discover the life of the National Bard through the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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Schools

Bring the Curriculum for Excellence to life with the help of the national collections.

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Sir Everard and Lady Hannah im Thurn's Sri Lankan collection

Between 1925 and 1935 a fascinating collection of objects and glass lantern slides were donated to the Museum from Sri Lanka.

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The Heddle collection

Professor Matthew Forster Heddle (1828-1897) was Scotland's most famous mineralogist. At National Museums Scotland, we look after 5,700 specimens from his collection.

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The Glenmorangie Commission

In 2018, the internationally renowned metalsmith Simone ten Hompel was commissioned by National Museums Scotland and The Glenmorangie Company to create a new artwork inspired by our curatorial research and the Museum’s collection of metal artefacts from early medieval Scotland.

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Black History Month

Explore stories about Black history and culture, from colonial legacies to contemporary fashion, and hear Black perspectives on aspects of the Collections.

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Bicycles at National Museums Scotland

Journey through a brief history of the early bicycle and discover some of our modern cycling treasures.

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Romans in Scotland: the Roman army

The Roman army was drawn from many corners of the vast Roman Empire

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Romans in Scotland: life on the frontier

Forts were not just military bases, they became the heart of communities

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Romans in Scotland: highlight objects

See five highlight objects that summarise the legacy of Rome's invasions of Scotland

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About us

Our mission is to preserve, interpret and make accessible for all, the past and present of Scotland, other nations and cultures, and the natural world.

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Global Arts, Cultures and Design department

Our Global Arts, Cultures and Design collections include internationally important material from across the world.

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Contemporary collecting

Contemporary collecting has been core to the development of the National Collections over the last two centuries.

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Elements: Earth

Investigate different aspects of life on Earth, through fascinating fossils, tools for turning the soil and pieces of art reflecting the devastating effects of pollution on our planet.

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For Teachers: Ten Minute Activities

Use one of our ten-minute activities with your class today, with suggestions for how you can extend.

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Staff Picks Trail

Be inspired by our staff favourites from our collections on display on Level 1, or try and find them all on your next visit.

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Oracle Bones

Oracle bones are parts of animal bone, used in divination ceremonies in ancient China. National Museums Scotland’s collection of oracle bones dates from the late Shang dynasty (c.1200–1050 BC) and was found at Yinxu site near Anyang city, in central China.

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The Galloway Hoard pectoral cross

The discovery of a well-preserved pectoral cross placed near the top of the Galloway Hoard was the first sign this was an extraordinary assemblage.

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Things to see and do

Discover the story of Scotland at war within the walls of Edinburgh Castle.

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Romans in Scotland: major archaeological sites

Archaeological finds from Rome's invasions of Scotland can be found throughout the country, from the Solway Firth to Moray. Three of the most prominent sites are Trimontium, Traprain Law, and the Antonine Wall.

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Second World War: Technology

Changing technology played a vital role in the Second World War. Major advances in communications, weaponry and medicine came about as a direct result of the conflict.

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Amethyst geode

This huge amethyst geode formed over 130 million years ago in lava during a period of volcanic activity.

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