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Tim Peake’s Spacecraft

See the Soyuz spacecraft used for European Space Agency Astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia Mission to the International Space Station and accompanying virtual reality adventure.

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Allegro dining suite

The design of this elegant modernist dining suite was once admired by the Queen Mother. Now extremely rare, it makes a significant new addition to the national collection.

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Blå Kant (Blue Line) designed by Grethe Meyer

Named for the fine blue line that runs along the edges of the light grey faience, and received the inaugural Danish Industrial Design Prize (ID) in 1965.

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Romans in Scotland: major archaeological sites

Archaeological finds from Rome's invasions of Scotland can be found throughout the country, from the Solway Firth to Moray. Three of the most prominent sites are Trimontium, Traprain Law, and the Antonine Wall.

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Lady Grisell Baillie’s lantern

This lantern was said to have been carried by Lady Grisell Baillie, Scottish songwriter, on her nightly visits to her Covenanter father during his concealment in 1684.

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Construction of R34 was completed on 20 December 1918 and it was flown to East Fortune in May 1919.
Airship R.34

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic flight from Britain to the United States. On 2 July 1919 Airship R.34 departed from East Fortune Airfield, landing on Long Island, New York 108 hours later.

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Scottish Life Archive

The Scottish Life Archive is open to everyone. It aims to collect, record and preserve documentary and illustrative evidence of Scotland's material culture and social history.

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Mercedes-Benz coffin

Is it a car? Is it a coffin? In fact it’s both, an amazing piece of artwork that celebrates a modern Ghanaian tradition.

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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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Stone Age jade from the Alps

Found in Scotland, these exquisite axeheads were made over 6,000 years ago, high in the Italian Alps.

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L’Éden panoramic wallpaper

Uncover the landscape of L’Éden, a set of 20 rolls of 19th-century scenic wallpaper and discover how this spectacular wallcovering has been conserved by the Museum.

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Lulu the killer whale

Lulu came from the only killer whale pod in the UK and was found dead on Tiree in 2016. She had the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls ever recorded from a marine mammal.

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Objects associated with Sir Walter Scott

Novelist, poet, playwright and historian, Scott was one of the most celebrated writers of his time and his works brought Scotland’s evocative landscapes to public attention across Britain and Europe. Discover his story through objects in the National Collection.

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The Reid family

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years.

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Culduthel Mains burial assemblage

In 1975, a Bronze Age burial was found in Inverness-shire. Interpreted as an archer, this man and his objects reveal fascinating stories about connections across Britain and Ireland.

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Become a Member

Discover all the benefits of Membership and find out about types of Membership, prices and ways to join here.

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Colour television

This is the oldest surviving colour television in the world. It uses a colour system invented in 1937 by Scottish engineer John Logie Baird.

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Vivienne Westwood suit

Scotland Creates volunteer Bethany Lane introduces this distinctive Harris Tweed suit created by iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

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Culture vessel

This simple looking object made it possible for the first clinical trials and batch production of penicillin to take place. Its design marks a significant milestone in the history of medicine.

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The mystery of the miniature coffins

Satanic spell, superstitious charm or echo of Edinburgh’s grisly underworld history? We examine the theories put forward to explain the strange tale of these tiny coffins.

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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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Jean Muir archive

In a fashion career spanning more than 40 years, Jean Muir acquired a reputation for restrained, elegant design and a devoted following. Explore signature styles from the Jean Muir archive and discover what made her designs so innovative and enduring.

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British ensemble by Marks & Spencer

This classic outfit was part of Marks & Spencer's 'Best of British' range, which celebrated British craftsmanship and creativity.

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Amelia Robertson Hill's statue of Hugh Miller

Amelia Robertson Hill was one of the few female sculptors in 19th-century Edinburgh. Her work can be found in many prominent locations in Scotland.

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The Eglinton tournament: the quest for authenticity

In August 1839, Lord Eglinton held a mock-medieval tournament at his estate in North Ayrshire, Scotland. The event was hugely popular, and around 100,000 people attended. Step onto the battlefield and discover some of the objects associated with this flamboyant festival here.

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James VI and I

James VI and I was a hugely significant Stewart king, but has been overshadowed by his notorious relations: his predecessor in Scotland, his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots; in England, his cousin, Elizabeth I; and his successor in both kingdoms, Charles I.

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Karlyn Sutherland

Karlyn Sutherland is known for her evocative sculptures, fused wall pieces and site-specific installations that explore light and shadow.

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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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Chantal-Meteor 200 jukebox

With its slick design and sensational selection of records, this jukebox for the future may look like an all-American classic but it was designed in France and manufactured in the UK. Let’s rock this joint!

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The Galloway Hoard: hoards and the Viking Age in historical context

Find out what a hoard is, how historians and archaeologists have interpreted them, and why the Galloway Hoard is truly unique.

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Fossils in Tayside, Central and Fife

Collections in Stirling, Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Angus, Fife and Falkirk.

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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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Dr Evelyn Baxter and Miss Leonora Rintoul

Meet 'the good ladies' of bird collecting, two pioneering ornithologists whose work is still influential today.

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Alexander Henry Rhind

Alexander Henry Rhind (1833–1863) was the first archaeologist to conduct systematic excavations in Egypt in the 1850s.

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Collecting the Present

National Museums Scotland is collecting history as it happens. Our new film series, Collecting the Present, explores objects we have collected recently that document cultural, political and social change in Scotland.

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The Galloway Hoard: Dr Martin Goldberg in conversation with Michael Hirst

Curator Dr Martin Goldberg joins Vikings writer and producer Michael Hirst to delve into the mysteries of the incredible Galloway Hoard.

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Colour photo of a combine harvester being used in the field.
Harvesting machinery of the 20th century

At the National Museum of Rural Life we have a significant collection of 20th-century harvesting machines in our large machinery store.

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Astronomy and Edinburgh

Astronomy has been taught at the University of Edinburgh since its foundation in 1583. James Gregory (1638-75) and Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746) both held the Chair of Mathematics.

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Members’ Spotlight: Behind the Scenes at the Collection Centre

Go behind the scenes with us and journey through time via our rich and diverse collections.

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Dorothy Kidd

Dorothy Kidd is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary History.

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Sanaa Gateja's bead-work shawl

Colourful and intriguing, this shawl transforms waste paper into a statement piece of art and fashion.

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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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Game Masters

Featuring over 100 playable games, Game Masters showcased the work of more than 30 leading videogame designers.

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Scottish History and Archaeology department

Our archaeological and Scottish collections cover Scottish material culture from the earliest times to the present day.

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The Fettercairn Jewel

Acquired in 2017, this rare jewelled and enamelled locket conceals secrets which could shed new light on the Scottish Renaissance. Join us on a journey of discovery as our curators, conservators and scientists work to unravel its mysteries.

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A glance at Scotland’s national animal

The unicorn is first mentioned in a long lost book about India about 400 BC and eventually is adopted as Scotland's national animal in the 15th century and can now be seen everywhere.

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Turkey red pattern
Flowers and leaves

Floral and foliate patterns are common in the Turkey Red Collection. They range from naturalistic styles to abstract patterns and they were produced for both the domestic and export markets.

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Ancient Egypt across Scotland

An incredible array of Egyptian objects can be found in museums across Scotland, from tiny amulets to massive stone monuments. National Museums Scotland and museums across the country are studying these artefacts together to improve our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture and Scotland’s contribution to Egyptology.

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Silver, Status and Society – the transition from Late Roman to Early Medieval Europe

National Museums Scotland is establishing an international network of scholars to explore the role of silver in the emergence of the early medieval kingdoms of Europe. This network has been made possible thanks to an award from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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Touring exhibition

This touring exhibition revealed the personal stories of separation and loss experienced by Scottish families and by communities with loved ones fighting abroad.

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