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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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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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Scotland Creates

How do we express our Sense of Place? Since 2012, young people from across Scotland have worked with our staff and at four partner museums to explore where they come from.

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Scotland's Early Silver

This exhibition explored the impact of silver during the first millennium AD.

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Venue hire at our other museums

The National Museum of Flight, National Museum of Rural Life and National War Museum present further opportunities for entertaining on every scale.

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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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Monymusk reliquary

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

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Scotland 365: Youth engagement project

Scotland 365 is an exciting new project to transform the way we engage young people aged 16-25 with our collections.

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Maths Week Scotland

Maths Week Scotland is a week of events and activity, with special events throughout 2020. Now in its fourth successful year, Maths Week Scotland took place 28 September - 4 October 2020.

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Ruston & Hornsby No.6 steam excavator

Discover the classic Ruston steam excavator, and find out how our conservation team restored it to its former glory.

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New to the National Collections

This small display highlighted a selection of the recent acquisitions at National Museums Scotland.

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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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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.

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Job vacancies

National Museums Scotland employs approximately 430 staff working in a variety of roles. Interested in working with us? See our current vacancies here.

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Trading Places: Exploring Scotland’s commercial diaspora, past and present

This workshop seeks to expand academic knowledge and improve museum interpretation of Scotland’s commercial diaspora, focusing on the material culture of short-term economic migration. The project is supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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Visiting our museums

Discover the latest information about visiting our museums

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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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Egypt in Scotland South

Collections in Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders.

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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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What we do

At National Museums Scotland, we care for collections of national and international importance, preserving them, interpreting them and making them accessible to as many people as possible.

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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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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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The Matter of Slavery in Scotland

‘The Matter of Slavery in Scotland’ was a collaborative research project with the University of Edinburgh which explored the history and legacy of Scotland’s connections with the transatlantic slave system through objects in public collections.

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Scotland's Early Silver

This touring exhibition explores the impact of silver during the first millennium AD.

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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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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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National Museums Collection Centre

The National Museums Collections Centre in Granton, Edinburgh is a specialist facility where we care for and research our collections.

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Amateur Microscopists

In the early 18th century, natural history was an increasingly popular pastime and many people visited fields and ponds, often bringing a microscope, to investigate the flora and fauna.

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Scotland’s Precious Seas

Visitors discovered the diversity of life in Scotland’s seas and the many threats facing our marine life.

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Democracy for Scotland tent

This tent was a home-made 'mini' vigil travelling stall used by members of the Democracy for Scotland campaign.

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Mandarin at the Museum

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

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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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Request a loan from National Museums Scotland

Institutions may use this form to apply to National Museums Scotland for loan of objects.

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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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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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Request a school visit to the National Museum of Rural Life

This form is to request a schools visit to the National Museum of Rural Life (East Kilbride). All visits must be booked in advance.

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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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Ming: The Golden Empire
Past exhibitions

Explore exhibitions held at the National Museum of Scotland over the past year.

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Membership

Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits and support the work of National Museums Scotland. Join us from just £43.

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Natural Science Collections Across Scotland

Until March 2021 we will be working with museums across Scotland to increase engagement with natural science collections, with generous funding from the John Ellerman Foundation.

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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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Museums of Malawi partnership

National Museums Scotland and Museums of Malawi worked together to deliver a targeted museums skills development programme and to deliver a new David Livingstone display at Chichiri Museum, Blantyre, Malawi during 2013.

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Margaret's Wardrobe

On 31 October 2014, Dr Chris Lee presented Margaret’s Wardrobe at the National Museum of Scotland, as part of Luminate: Scotland’s Festival of Creative Ageing. This illustrated talk showed how personal collections can help preserve self-identity, and how our museum collections continue to stimulate memories and discussion.

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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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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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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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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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