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A history of collecting Tibet at National Museums Scotland

Discover more about the history of collecting Tibetan objects at National Museums Scotland, peaking during 1890-1930 with the Younghusband Expedition.

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Pacific collections at National Museums Scotland

Explore the Pacific collection at National Museums Scotland in more detail.

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Advisory Board Meeting at the National Museum of World Cultures, Leiden

On 28 November 2018, colleagues from our Advisory Board met at the National Museum of World Cultures in Leiden to discuss how the project has progressed since our last meeting.

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Elements: Air

Discover how air has been used in modes of transport from airships to hot air balloons and how different species make use of air to travel through flight and gliding.

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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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Job vacancies at National Museums Scotland Enterprises Ltd

Find out more about working with our Publishing, Retail and Hospitality & Events teams within National Museums Scotland Enterprises Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Museums Scotland that supports our work.

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National projects

We are always working with other Scottish museums on partnership projects that can raise the profile of long-term preservation and engagement with collections nationally.

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Schmidt telescope

Find out how this revolutionary telescope was invented, and how it found a home at the National Museum of Scotland.

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People's Postcode Lottery

Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we are able to create opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life to enjoy our museums and connect with inspiring collections. We are very grateful to the Postcode Culture Trust for enabling us to create these opportunities.

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Clyde's Museum Adventure

Explore the highlights of the museum and our working farm with this family trail.

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Colour photo of a man holding a small child whilst looking at a willow sculpture of a cat sitting on a wall.
Willow Sculpture Trail

Discover our new trail on a walk to the farm.

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Annual Review 2018

With over 3.1 million visits across all our museums, and nearly 2.2 million visitors to the National Museum of Scotland, we have enhanced our position as one of the most popular museum groups in the world.

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Waka Taua

Maori craftsmanship and museum conservation bring to life one of our most unusual and intriguing objects.

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Gifts for a Jacobite Prince

This touring display of a unique sword and targe from the collections of National Museums Scotland visited Perth Museum and Art Gallery and Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

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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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About us

We care for museum collections of national and international importance, presenting and interpreting them for a broad audience. Discover the diversity of all we do here.

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Second World War Family Trail

Explore the highlights of the historic airfield with this new family trail.

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For Teachers: Primary Resources

Explore a range of activities suitable for pupils working at Early, First and Second Levels including: - Mandarin - Writing a story - Maths and numeracy

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National Programme 2021 - 2025

From November 2019 we will begin consultation on our next National Programme (2021 - 2025). We would very much like to hear from colleagues, partners and funders on what National Museums Scotland's future work across Scotland should focus on.

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Monymusk reliquary

Take a look inside one of the most treasured objects in the National Museum of Scotland.

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Making Circles Schools Project

The Making Circles schools project invited children to be inspired by National Museums Scotland’s collections to create new Circular Economy products.

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Annual Review 2017

This has been an exceptional year for National Museums Scotland. Across our museums we have welcomed over 2.7 million visitors, 1.84 million of these to the National Museum of Scotland making it the most popular museum outside of London and the most visited attraction in Scotland.

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Visitors in front of the BAC 1-11
Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Flight

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Moby the whale

Discover how the skull of a 40ft whale, which captured the heart of the nation, has become a permanent feature at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Awesome Bricks at home

Recreate your favourite museum objects and places using the LEGO® you have at home!

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Museum Maker: How to make paper art

We’ve teamed up with upcyling experts Ostrero and artist Bryony Knox to create three paper-cut designs inspired by Scottish animals. Choose from a stately stag, a magical unicorn or a red squirrel! The designs are inspired by paper-cut art from Mexico . Look out for some examples in our Patterns of Life gallery.

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Top 10 things to see and do

Your journey of discovery starts here...

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Alexander Peden's mask

Behind this frightening-looking mask, worn as a disguise by the outlawed Covenanting minister Alexander Peden, lies a fascinating story of rebellion and religious conviction.

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Wellbeing at the museum

Resources and ideas to support wellbeing

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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 Corryvrechan Tapestry

Designed by Kate Whiteford, the title of the work refers to the notorious whirlpool to the north of the island of Jura and draws on the artists's fascination with signs and symbols of ancient civilisations.

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Britten-Norman Islander G-BELF

The island-hopping Britten-Norman Islander is one of the most versatile aircraft ever built.

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Visiting with additional support needs pupils

We have a range of initiatives to support and welcome pupils with additional support needs to the National Museum of Scotland.

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Gérard Quenum's 'L'Ange'

This bold and engaging sculpture is a mixed media piece made from recycled found objects.

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Pacific collections at Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Investigate the Pacific material in Perth.

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Thai Ceramics

Among the museum's collection in storage are a group of Thai ceramics excavated at Sawankhalok.

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Baggage and Belonging: Military Collections and the British Empire, 1750 – 1900

This collaborative research partnership with the National Army Museum reappraises motivations for military collecting. It investigates cultures of collecting by members of the British armed forces while on campaign and garrison duty in Africa and India during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

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Objects linked to Waterloo

Explore the story of Waterloo at the National War Museum.

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Muonionalusta meteorite

Discover how an extra-terrestrial exhibit was made ready for display in the National Museum of Scotland.

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Numbat

We trace the story of the Australian mammals in the Natural World galleries at the National Museum of Scotland and meet the rare numbat.

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National Museums Scotland Appoints New Director of Collections

National Museums Scotland is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Sam Alberti as its new Director of Collections.

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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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Newcomen atmospheric engine

Visitors to the Scotland Transformed gallery at National Museum of Scotland cannot miss the mighty Newcomen engine.

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Ching Ching

Meet Ching Ching the panda, one of the world’s most endangered species in Survival at National Museum of Scotland.

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Tractors

From the early 20th century, the tractor helped to transformed farm life in Scotland. There are several examples on display in the collection at the National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride.

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Cybraphon

Meet Cybraphon, the moody autonomous robot band in a box created by Edinburgh-based artist collective FOUND.

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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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Missionaries and Tibetan material culture

Explore how missionaries made a significant impact on gathering the materials featured within the Tibetan collections at the National Museum of Scotland, with their materials peaking between 1890-1904.

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