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Avro Anson G-APHV

This vintage Avro Anson first flew in 1935, when it represented leading edge technology.

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Exterior of the Concorde cockpit facing right.
Concorde G-BOAA

For almost 30 years, anyone who could afford the ticket could shoot across the globe at twice the speed of sound. How? By flying on Concorde, the world’s only supersonic passenger aeroplane.

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Nimrod XV241 front fuselage

This Nimrod XV241 served with the RAF from the early 1970s until March 2010.

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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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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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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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Very old book with a colourful spine on a velvety red surface. Faded off-white cover decorated with a cherub and group of people between two columns.
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.

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Percy Pilcher's Hawk glider

Pioneering Percy Pilcher could have been the first person ever to fly. But why did the glider he designed never take off?

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Cybraphon

Meet Cybraphon, the moody autonomous robot band in a box created by Edinburgh-based artist collective FOUND.

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General self-led visit

A general self-led visit to the National Museum of Scotland is free to book and allows you to explore a wide range of topics.

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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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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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Cockcroft-Walton generator

The Cockcroft-Walton generator was developed at the University of Cambridge in the early 1930s to accomplish the first artificial splitting of the atom.

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Museum Maker: Bird Safari

Head outdoors and see how many brilliant birds you can spot with the help of some bright binoculars! Learn how to make them here!

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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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The Lothian Birth Cohort

What is it like to hold your own brain? John Scott, a Lothian Birth Cohort participant, was lucky enough to find out

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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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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 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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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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Build a story at the museum with Scottish Book Trust

Museums are great places to uncover stories. Build your own story, inspired by our amazing objects.

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Red wax seal depicting a man, Robert Bruce, on a charging warhorse holding up a sword.
Objects associated with Robert the Bruce

Robert I, also known as Robert Bruce, was king of Scots from 1306 to 1329. Follow his journey from coronation to grave through objects associated with this famous warrior.

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Giant ibis

Find out more about the only giant ibis skeleton owned by any museum in the world.

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Museum Make: Busy Blue Tit

Make your own bird spotting Blue Tit buddy with these instructions!

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A man from Oceania dramatically poses on a beach covered in a shallow layer of water and seaweed. Throwing his head back and striking a 'warrior pose', his long braided hair, traditional dyed cloth wrapping below his waist, and the boat paddle he holds make him seem powerful and heroic.
Rising Tide: Art and Environment in Oceania

A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland showcasing artworks created in response to the climate crisis in Australia and the Pacific Islands.

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Dunlop tyre

This revolutionary pneumatic tyre was donated to the museum by its maker, John Boyd Dunlop, in 1910. But who really invented it?

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Close-up detail of wool and mohair woven tweed fabric in green, yellow, orange, and pink.
Bernat Klein: Design in Colour

This exhibition explored the life and career of Bernat Klein, one of the 20th century’s leading forces in modernist design, in this free exhibition marking the centenary of his birth.

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Living in Renaissance Scotland: the highs and lows

Join curator Anna Groundwater for a guided virtual tour of life in Renaissance Scotland at 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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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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Tour of the Ancient Egyptian Gallery

Join curator Margaret Maitland for a guided virtual tour of our Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery.

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Bust of Robert Burns in profile, with short haircut and jacket.
Who was Robert Burns?

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

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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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Commercial aviation in the 20th century

Thursday 25 June 2020 marks the 65th anniversary of the first flight of the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer. We mark this occasion with a look back at how commercial aviation has changed.

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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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From minerals to your mobile

A huge range of different elements are used to make up the components of a mobile phone. But did you know that many of them can be found in minerals you can see on display at the National Museum of Scotland?

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Museum Maker: How to draw a King Penguin

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw a King Penguin from our collection.

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Museum Maker: How to draw an Egyptian Coffin

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw an Egyptian Coffin from our collection.

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Museum Maker: How to draw the Hunterston brooch

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw the Hunterston Brooch from our collection.

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Museum Maker: Make a champion’s rosette

Summer is usually the season for gala days and rural shows, including our own Heavy Horse Show. Celebrate the champions you know – family, friends or even pets - by making them a personalised rosette!

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History of the David Livingstone collection

The story of how specimens make their way into a museum’s collection is often a peculiar one.

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A teacher gathers a group of primary school pupils around an Egyptian Coffin.
Trails & resources for the National Museum of Scotland

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

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Selfie Safari

Can you complete our Selfie Safari challenge? Find all the animals and take a family portrait with each one!

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Foster stereo printing press model

This Victorian scale model of a printing press was made in the Museum's own workshop.

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Tyrannosaurus rex

Meet the 12 metre-long, spectacular life-sized skeleton cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Scotland.

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The Reid Family Christmas and New Year

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years. Find out how the tenth laird and his family celebrated Christmas and New Year on the farm.

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