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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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Jacobite Revival print which possibly shows the Prince Charles's entrance to Edinburgh after Prestonpans, 19th century.
Georgian Scotland

National Museums Scotland are delighted to welcome back the University of Edinburgh Short Courses – a great way to explore our collections and their wider history with experts.

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National Strategy

National Museums Scotland launched its first national strategy in 2006 and since then our work across the country has gone from strength to strength.

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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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National work

We work across Scotland to share the national collections, engage with local communities, and provide support for our sector.

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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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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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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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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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Visitors in front of the BAC 1-11
Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Flight

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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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Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Rural Life

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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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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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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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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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Waka Taua

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Museum trails

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

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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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Family Puzzle Trail

Download our family trail to help you plan a structured visit to the National Museum of Scotland.

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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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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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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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Who was Robert Burns?

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

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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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Trails for the National Museum of Scotland

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

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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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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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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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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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Discovering Japan

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

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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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Ancient Egypt and East Asia National Programme

The Ancient Egypt and East Asia National Programme was a two year project working with partner museums across Scotland to discover and reveal new and interesting stories about their ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean collections.

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Top 10 things to see and do

Your journey of discovery starts here...

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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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Margaret Tytler's Indian models

This fascinating collection of scale models provides an invaluable source of information on life in 19th century India.

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