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Magic Carpet World

Our popular Magic Carpet storytelling sessions at the National Museum of Scotland provided inspiration for a pilot Community Engagement project encouraging bilingual families with preschool children to enjoy the Museum.

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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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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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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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Ming: The Golden Empire
Past exhibitions

Explore exhibitions held at the National Museum of Scotland over the past year.

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Chatty Café at the Museum

This event has been cancelled.

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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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The Storming of Tel-el-Kebir

The battle of Tel-el-Kebir was a decisive moment in the British maintaining order in Egypt in the late 19th century and its depicted in a magnificent painting at National War Museum.

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for over 50 years

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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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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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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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A Vintage VE Day

Step back in time and experience life in wartime Britain to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

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Brick Wonders

Travel around the old and new Wonders of the World, recreated in half a million LEGO® bricks by brick artist Warren Elsmore and his team.

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Annual Review 2019

With the opening in February 2019 of three new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland, we celebrated the completion of the transformation of our much-loved Victorian building.

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Awesome Bricks

Join us for one of Scotland's biggest hands-on LEGO® events.

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About the Tibet Project

Discover more about the Tibetan project, in collaboration between the University of Stirling, Department of Languages, Cultures and Religions, and the National Museum of Scotland, Department of World Cultures.

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Meet our Volunteers

Volunteering with National Museums Scotland can be hugely rewarding. But don't take our word for it, here's what some of our volunteers say about their time with us.

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Research Library

The Research Library is our main reading room on level 3 of the National Museum of Scotland.

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Annual Review 2016

This has been a landmark year at National Museums Scotland.

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Post excavation analysis

The Scottish History and Archaeology Department at the National Museum of Scotland is a leading player in the field of post-excavation analysis of finds.

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Museums of Malawi partnership

National Museums Scotland and Museums of Malawi worked together to deliver a targeted museums skills development programme and to deliver a new David Livingstone display at Chichiri Museum, Blantyre, Malawi during 2013.

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Meetings and conferences

The National Museum of Scotland provides comprehensive facilities for meetings, conferences and social events.

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Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Reconsidering Ethnographic Collections in Regimental Museums

On 11 September 2018 we held our first knowledge exchange workshop at the National Army Museum with a group of curators from different regimental museums across the United Kingdom.

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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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Image library

The image library of National Museums Scotland comprises a vast wealth of material from our museums. Images from National Museums Scotland are available from the image library for reproduction in publications, film, television and other media.

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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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First World War centenary

Our First World War Centenary programme of exhibitions and events shares the Scottish memory of these world-changing events with national and international visitors.

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Panjab Connections

The National Museum of Scotland received £16,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to work with young people from the Scottish Sikh community.

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Research project details

Find out more about the AHRC project and its precursors.

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India

We have a long history of collaborating with museum institutions in India.

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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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What we do

At National Museums Scotland, we care for collections of national and international importance, preserving them, interpreting them and making them accessible to as many people as possible.

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Out and about in Edinburgh: an adult learners' course

Out and About in Edinburgh was a five week course, developed by the City Community Learning Team for adult learners from South Bridge Resource Centre, Edinburgh delivered at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Primary School resources

Trails and resources for Primary School visits to the National Museum of Scotland.

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Secondary School resources

Trails and resources for Secondary School visits to the National Museum of 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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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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A relic of General Charles Gordon

A fascinating example of a military relic can be seen in the collections of the Royal Engineers Museum in Chatham, Kent.

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Statement of Public Task

This statement outlines the functions carried out by National Museums Scotland that are within the Museum’s Public Task under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

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Henrik Grönvold [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Giant ibis

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

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Robots

Some robots have arrived at the Museum needing our help! But sometimes the best person to fix a robot... is another robot!

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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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