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Dr Alice Blackwell

Alice is the Curator of Medieval Archaeology & History, with responsibility for the late medieval collections.

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Research opportunities

There are many opportunities for undertaking research with our staff and our collections.

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Dr Matthew Knight

Matthew is a Senior Curator of Prehistory responsible for the Scottish Chalcolithic and Bronze Age collections. He is also responsible for the Scottish archaeological human remains collections.

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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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Reaching out

Our outreach and engagement projects expand the reach and impact of the national collections far beyond the walls of our museums.

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Victoria Adams

Victoria (Tori) Adams is the Assistant Curator responsible for collections from Oceania, Africa, and the Americas.

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Fossils in the Highlands and Islands

Collections in Highland, Argyll and Bute, Orkney and Shetland.

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Fossils in Glasgow and Strathclyde

Collections in Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Glasgow.

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Paper fan depicting the Siege of Stirling, 1746, acquired by Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum
National Fund for Acquisitions

The National Fund for Acquisitions (NFA) helps museums, galleries, libraries and archives throughout Scotland to make acquisitions for their collections.

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The power of social media

The use of social media platforms in promoting entomological collections.

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New research facility developments

We are constantly working to enhance and improve our storage and research facilities, to preserve and study our collections and increase access, particularly for researchers.

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General information on school visits

Find out general information about how you can engage with our museums and collections.

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Collection disposal

National Museums Scotland has been collecting objects for over 150 years. In common with many other museums, one of the ways we ensure our collections are properly managed and accessible, is to review and, where appropriate dispose of those objects identified as no longer appropriate for the national collections.

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Volunteering

Volunteers help in many of our departments and play an important role, increasing our visitors' enjoyment and understanding of our collections

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The box that went on the March to Kandahar

Here we examine a decorated wooden box in the collections of the Highlanders Museum that was purchased as a souvenir from Afghanistan in 1880.

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Dr Louise Boyd

Dr Louise Boyd is the Curator for the Japanese and Ainu collections.

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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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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 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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Climate emergency films

Explore how we use our collections to understand the past, present and future of the climate emergency.

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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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Boulton & Watt engine

This Boulton & Watt engine was the first full-sized engine acquired for the collections and is one of the oldest surviving beam engines in the world.

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Scottish collectors and collecting in central Africa, 1870–1930

This project, funded by a Carnegie Trust Research Initiative Grant, is undertaking research into African collections acquired from Scottish travellers, missionaries and explorers, focusing on the period between 1870 and 1930.

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Make and Create: Get hands-on with craft ideas

Get hands-on with craft ideas inspired by our collections.

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Dr Daniel Potter

Daniel Potter is assistant curator of the Ancient Mediterranean collections.

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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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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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Ancient Egypt and East Asia National Programme Skills and Knowledge Sharing

We are offering free, basic collections knowledge and skills training for Scottish museums with ancient Egyptian or East Asian collections.

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Header image: (c) Neil Hanna
CPD and events for teachers

We have a range of events and CPD for teachers looking to visit our museums or use our collections in their classrooms.

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Research project details

Find out more about the AHRC project and its precursors.

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Kunwar Singh’s Silver Fly Whisk

One of the aims of the project is to begin to untangle the many ways in which objects come into museum collections. Here we investigate the provenance of a fly whisk associated with the Indian Uprising of 1857-8.

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Conserving an Egyptian coffin
Jobs and volunteering

Want to work with us? Every member of staff has a key role to play in preserving and interpreting our collections and making them accessible to all. Our volunteers provide vital help in running events, caring for our collections and sharing knowledge.

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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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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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Project updates

Here you can find updates on the Military Collections and the British Empire Project including object stories and summaries of our workshops and events.

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Elements: Fire

From intricate firelighting tools to rocket-powered aircraft and a fire alarm with a difference, our collections feature intriguing links to the element fire.

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HomeWorks

HomeWorks is a project inspired by art and design collections at the National Museum of Scotland. Led by artists Katie and Sophie Orton and Ali Glanville-Jones, the workshops aim to inspire creativity, connect people to our new Art, Design and Fashion galleries, and encourage an understanding of design processes.

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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.

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Earth Systems

Our specimens represent Scotland’s geological history and global mineralogical diversity.

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The Glenmorangie Lecture: Andy Goldsworthy

Internationally-renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy continues his dialogue with the Scottish archaeology collections and reflects on the themes of the Glenmorangie Research Project.

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The Fabric of Life: Early Polynesian barkcloth in context

This collaborative project combines research on one of the founding collections of the National Museums Scotland and fieldwork with contemporary makers in Polynesia to investigate the history, changing nature and present-day significance of barkcloths, many of which date back to the first European exploratory voyages in the Pacific region.

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International Workshop

Our international workshop drew together speakers from a wide range of disciplines, and invited regimental, corps and service museum curators to discuss collecting cultures in military contexts beyond the parameters of the project, as well as contemporary themes including issues of reparation and return.

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Our research

Research is core to our activities as a Museum, crucial to our stewardship of collections and to the intellectual development of subject knowledge.

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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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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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Dr Margaret Maitland

Dr Margaret Maitland is Principal Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean, and Head of the Mediterranean, Africa, Americas, and Oceania Section.

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Scotland and the Caribbean

What do museum collections reveal about Britain’s and Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic slave system and the experiences of enslaved people?

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Georgina Ripley

Georgina Ripley has an MA in the History of Art (specializing in the History of Dress) from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She is Principal Curator of Modern & Contemporary design and Head of the Modern & Contemporary Design section, and primarily responsible for the modern and contemporary fashion and textile collections from 1850 to the present day.

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The Lewis chess pieces

These medieval chess pieces from the Scottish island of Lewis are among our most popular collections. They give us fascinating insights into the international connections of western Scotland and the growing popularity of chess in medieval Europe.

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Eigg's stegosaur

A 166 million-year-old dinosaur bone identified as the first stegosaur bone to be found in Scotland has been added to our collections after a lucky discovery on the Isle of Eigg by Dr Elsa Panciroli.

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