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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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Museum Animations

Delve into our animated adventures and explore the world around us from unique perspectives.

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Museum trails

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

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Tyrannosaurs

Visitors met the most feared and revered of all dinosaurs in this cutting-edge exhibition, that brought the latest discoveries in palaeontology to life and challenging preconceptions about these ferocious predators.

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Tuxford portable steam engine

Portable steam engines were in common use in industrialised countries from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century as power sources for machinery on farms and in rural factories.

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Mode

Mode brings the museum's wardrobe to life with a selection of 30 objects from the world of fashion.

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Portrait cloth commemorating Mary Slessor

Why should a 19th century Scottish woman feature on a contemporary African cloth? Discover the story of Mary Slessor: missionary, magistrate and champion of women's rights.

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Museum Maker: Make a champion’s rosette

Summer is usually the season for gala days and rural shows, including our own Heavy Horse Show. Celebrate the champions you know – family, friends or even pets - by making them a personalised rosette!

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Living in Renaissance Scotland: the highs and lows

Join curator Anna Groundwater for a guided virtual tour of life in Renaissance Scotland at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Schools

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

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Drawn Together at the Museum

Looking for a calming creative activity to do in the middle of the holidays? Escape to the museum between Christmas and Hogmanay and enjoy sketching around our galleries.

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Dolly the sheep

As the first cloned mammal ever to be created from an adult cell, Dolly the sheep's birth was of huge excitement both to the scientific world and to the public.

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The Hive

Find out about our very own beehives.

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Tyrannosaurus rex

Meet the 12 metre-long, spectacular life-sized skeleton cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Scotland.

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The Luxury of Time: Clocks from 1550-1750

The Luxury of Time displayed a collection of rare and significant historical timepieces telling the story of a golden age of innovation in British watch and clockmaking.

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The Waste of Daylight

In 1907 the builder William Willett wrote a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight, campaigning for Daylight Saving in the UK. 9 years later, in 1916, this came into effect in UK law and effectively changed how we experience the passing seasons. Read on to find out more about Daylight Saving is and why Willett wanted it implemented...

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Lighthouses

Discover the story of the people who designed, built and operated Scotland's lighthouses through the objects which brought their role to life.

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Neolithic dog skull

Meet a very special Neolithic dog.

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Casualty of War: A Portrait of Maharaja Duleep Singh

Casualty of War: A Portrait of Maharaja Duleep Singh is by renowned British Sikh artists, The Singh Twins.

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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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Closing Romer's Gap: The story so far

If the first four-legged animals had never emerged from water onto land, our world today would not exist. Yet how did this great step happen? The mystery is finally being solved – and fossils discovered in Scotland lie at the heart of the story.

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Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder

Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder will explore the science behind the global hit television series Doctor Who and give fans a chance to experience the Doctor’s adventures from a scientific perspective.

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Objects associated with Robert the Bruce

Robert I, also known as Robert Bruce, was king of Scots from 1306 to 1329. Follow his journey from coronation to grave through objects associated with this famous warrior.

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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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Deskford carnyx

Uncover the history of this iconic Celtic trumpet, and find out how it has been reconstructed to bring the music of the past to life.

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Top things to see and do

Make the most of your visit with our museum highlights. Your rural adventure starts here!

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Become a Member

Members receive free access to the National Museum of Rural Life and special events throughout the year, and generous discounts in our shop and café.

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Jain painting

Discover how this stunning, detailed wall hanging was brought back to life by our Textile Conservation team.

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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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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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Things to see and do

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

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Biodiversity: Life In Scotland

Learn about four different ecosystems in Scotland through objects, games and microscopic imagery. Our accompanying resources will allow your class to study biodiversity across Scotland. Bookings open August 2022

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Sir James Black's Nobel Prize medal

Sir James Black was one of the greatest Scottish scientists of the modern era. His work in medicine and pharmacology has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world.

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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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Benin collections at National Museums Scotland

The 1897 invasion and looting of the west African Kingdom of Benin resulted in the sale and dispersal of thousands of artworks into European and American museums.

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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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Mary, Queen of Scots and the Book of Hours

Marvel up close at the pages of an illustrated prayer book featuring a handwritten poem by a young Mary, Queen of Scots in an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

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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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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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