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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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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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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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Newcomen atmospheric engine

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

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First World War

1914 brought war to Scotland on what would prove to be an unprecedented scale. Delve into the stories behind those who fought in the First World War 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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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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About a self led visit

A Self-Led visit is free to book and allows you to explore the museum and farm at your own pace. Pick up a trail from the orientation area.

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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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New to the National Collections

This small display highlighted a selection of the recent acquisitions at National Museums 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Museum Screen Time: expert reacts to the Viking Age in pop culture

Join Galloway Hoard researcher Dr Adrián Maldonado as he reacts to depictions of the Viking Age in movies, TV and video games.

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'Brave' film screening

Enjoy this 2012 Disney Pixar classic on the big screen and then go and explore our Scotland galleries with a specially themed trail.

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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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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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Scotland Creates

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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Artworks by Danie Mellor

In 2013, National Museums Scotland acquired one metal sculpture and one work on paper by contemporary Australian artist Danie Mellor.

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Make your own Lewis chess piece

The Lewis chess pieces live in the National Museum of Scotland. Colour them in or cut out and make your own chess piece here.

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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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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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Who was Robert Burns?

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

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Screenshot from Discover Your Animal animation
Watch and listen

Explore the amazing collections of National Museums Scotland through films, animations and podcasts.

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Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year 2009 Chapman Cheng tries out the Shetland fiddle.
Shetland fiddle

Discover how this traditional Scottish instrument was commissioned for the Performance and Lives gallery in the National Museum of Scotland.

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Michael Eden's Portals

This contemporary piece by sculptor Michael Eden celebrates the architectural styles of 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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Play and learn

Play online games exploring a range of museum subjects.

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Discovering Japan

From Samurai treasures to tiny netsuke, the National Museum of Scotland has the largest Japanese collection in Scotland.

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Trails for the National Museum of Scotland

Explore the National Museum of Scotland with your class using our themed trails.

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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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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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Art of Glass on film

Preparing for the Art of Glass exhibition at National Museum of Scotland.

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Charles Darwin's Scaly-throated earthcreeper

This earthcreeper was one of thousands of specimens collected during a voyage that Charles Darwin joined on the HMS Beagle.

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History of East Fortune

East Fortune Airfield is the UK's best-preserved Second World War airfield. Discover its history from its beginnings in the First World War to its transformation to a national museum.

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