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Climate emergency films

Explore how we use our collections to understand the past, present and future of the climate emergency.

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Mandarin at the Museum

Learn how to say colours in Mandarin, explore the museum collections, in person or virtually, and create your own Chinese object card.

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Make and Create: Get hands-on with craft ideas

Get hands-on with craft ideas inspired by our collections.

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Elements: Fire

From intricate firelighting tools to rocket-powered aircraft and a fire alarm with a difference, our collections feature intriguing links to the element fire.

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£250,000 project for community groups to research collections in galleries, libraries, archives and museums across the UK 

National Museums Scotland has been awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with the National Maritime Museum, London to enable organisations around the UK to work with community groups to explore experiences of empire, migration, and life in Britain through their collections.

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Mummy Shroud

A unique, full-length mummy shroud, which is over 2,000 years old yet is still in remarkable condition, has been discovered in National Museums Scotland’s collections.

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Museum Maker: How to make an owl badge

We’ve teamed up with upcycling experts Ostrero and artist Bryony Knox to create a design for a cool owl badge – made form a fizzy drinks can! Try it out today.

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The Lewis chess pieces

These medieval chess pieces from the Scottish island of Lewis are among our most popular collections. They give us fascinating insights into the international connections of western Scotland and the growing popularity of chess in medieval Europe.

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Victor Gama's instruments

These four unique instruments were specially created for Performance and Lives gallery at the National Museum of Scotland by internationally renowned composer and artist Victor Gama.

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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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Spotlight On: Our Seas

Curator Fiona Ware and Dr Dan Harries from Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Life & Earth Sciences introduce some of Scotland’s finest marine habitats and discuss the importance of the museum’s specimen collections to monitoring changes in our seas.

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The Sunday Sketch

Join us to learn how to sketch using our incredible collections as inspiration.

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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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Museum Art Challenge 2021

Between 29 November and 2 January we invited you to get creative and make art inspired by National Museums Scotland’s incredible collections and sites. There were 5 weekly themes to act as prompts for the challenge and get you thinking. As an extra twist, this year the themes were homophones– words that sound the same but have a different meaning, such as peace and piece. The Museum Art challenge was open to everyone - no experience necessary!

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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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An emperor's eggstraordinary egg

A new acquisition highlighting the way our collections continue to document the impact of rapid environmental change.

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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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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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W. & R. Chambers collection

There are over 20,000 wood engraving blocks in the W. & R. Chambers Collection at National Museums Scotland. Over 7,000 of these blocks were created to print the illustrations in Chambers’s Encyclopaedia, which was first published in 1859.

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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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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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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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Museum trails

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

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Learning resources for schools

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

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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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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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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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Heddle's agate collection

Agates form Heddle’s greatest and most beautiful collection.

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Heddle's mineral collection

Mineral collecting was Matthew Heddle's main passion. Several of his minerals are on display in the National Museum of Scotland.

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Heddle's rock collection

Although rock collecting was not Heddle's main passion, he still took time to collect the occasional rock and even fossil specimens.

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Professor Matthew Heddle biography

Heddle was a larger than life character, a renowned academic and one of Scotland's most famous mineralogists.

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Bibliography of MF Heddle

Full bibliography of the renowned mineralogist Professor Matthew Forster Heddle.

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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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Play and learn

Play online games exploring a range of museum subjects.

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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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