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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Ancient Egypt Week with National Museums Scotland

From 26-30 April, take part in our focused week of free ancient Egypt activities for pupils learning at home or in school.

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Ideas and resources for families

Have fun with our collections whether you’re at home or outdoors.

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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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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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General information on school visits

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

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Dorothy Kidd

Dorothy Kidd is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary History.

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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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Game Masters

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

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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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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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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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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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Gala dinners, events and award ceremonies

National Museums Scotland’s unique and versatile venues set a memorable scene, whether you are entertaining 12 guests or 1,500.

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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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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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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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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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East Asia in Scotland South

Collections in Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders

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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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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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Military collections from the Younghusband Expedition

Discover how the advent of the Younghusband Expedition resulted in the collection of Tibetan objects directly from Tibet by British military collectors.

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Next of Kin resources

The online resources developed for the Next of Kin touring exhibition provide opportunities to learn about the First World War in Scotland.

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Egypt in Edinburgh and Lothians

Collections in Edinburgh, including National 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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