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Museum Moves: Family Yoga

Use these seven yoga based poses to move, stretch and get energised, inspired by our collections. You can do each one on its own or all seven together in a 'yoga flow'.

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Become a Member

Members receive free access to the National Museum of Rural Life and special events throughout the year, and generous discounts in our shop and café.

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Sir James Black's Nobel Prize medal

Sir James Black was one of the greatest Scottish scientists of the modern era. His work in medicine and pharmacology has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world.

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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 in an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Carved oak doors associated with Mary of Guise

When medieval buildings in Blyth’s Close off Edinburgh’s Castlehill were demolished, these pieces - associated with Mary of Guise - were rescued.

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Biodiversity: Life In Scotland

Learn about four different ecosystems in Scotland through objects, games and microscopic imagery. Our accompanying resources will allow your class to study biodiversity across Scotland. Bookings now open.

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Things to see and do

Discover the story of Scotland at war within the walls of Edinburgh Castle.

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Image adapted from a lithograph by J. Maclise, 1841/1844. Credit: Wellcome Collection
Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life

Explore the history of anatomical study, from artistic explorations by Leonardo da Vinci to the Burke and Hare murders.

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Benin collections at National Museums Scotland

The 1897 invasion and looting of the west African Kingdom of Benin resulted in the sale and dispersal of thousands of artworks into European and American museums.

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For Teachers: Primary Resources

Explore a range of activities suitable for pupils working at Early, First and Second Levels including: - Mandarin - Writing a story - Maths and numeracy

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Making Circles Schools Project

The Making Circles schools project invited children to be inspired by National Museums Scotland’s collections to create new Circular Economy products.

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Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer

Only 89 Twin Pioneers were ever built – and you can see one in the National Museum of Flight.

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Moby the whale

Discover how the skull of a 40ft whale, which captured the heart of the nation, has become a permanent feature at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Play and learn

Play online games exploring a range of museum subjects.

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Alexander Peden's mask

Behind this frightening-looking mask, worn as a disguise by the outlawed Covenanting minister Alexander Peden, lies a fascinating story of rebellion and religious conviction.

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Scotland’s Precious Seas

Visitors discovered the diversity of life in Scotland’s seas and the many threats facing our marine life.

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Avro Vulcan B.2A

See the world's first delta winged bomber on display at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield.

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Objects linked to Waterloo

Explore the story of Waterloo at the National War Museum.

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£250,000 project for community groups to research collections in galleries, libraries, archives and museums across the UK 

National Museums Scotland has been awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with the National Maritime Museum, London to enable organisations around the UK to work with community groups to explore experiences of empire, migration, and life in Britain through their collections.

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Top 10 things to see and do

Your journey of discovery starts here...

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Schmidt telescope

Find out how this revolutionary telescope was invented, and how it found a home at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Second World War: Home Front

With the introduction of rationing, the threat of air raids, and the loss of so many workers through conscription, daily life looked and felt very different for people at home in Scotland during the Second World War.

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Numbat

We trace the story of the Australian mammals in the Natural World galleries at the National Museum of Scotland and meet the rare numbat.

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Muonionalusta meteorite

Discover how an extra-terrestrial exhibit was made ready for display in the National Museum of Scotland.

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Atlantic slave trade learning resources

Discover how objects in the museum’s collections can help us explore Scotland’s involvement in the Atlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement.

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Venue hire at National Museum of Rural Life

With a diverse range of events spaces and idyllic grounds, the museum is an ideal location for corporate or private events.

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Ching Ching

Meet Ching Ching the panda, one of the world’s most endangered species in Survival at National Museum of Scotland.

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The Corryvrechan Tapestry

Designed by Kate Whiteford, the title of the work refers to the notorious whirlpool to the north of the island of Jura and draws on the artists's fascination with signs and symbols of ancient civilisations.

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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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Museum Screen Time: expert reacts to the Viking Age in pop culture

Join Galloway Hoard researcher Dr Adrián Maldonado as he reacts to depictions of the Viking Age in movies, TV and video games.

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Gérard Quenum's 'L'Ange'

This bold and engaging sculpture is a mixed media piece made from recycled found objects.

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Eating at the museum

Enjoy a range of freshly prepared food and drink in our two cafés at the museum.

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Thai Ceramics

Among the museum's collection in storage are a group of Thai ceramics excavated at Sawankhalok.

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Heddle's mineral collection

Mineral collecting was Matthew Heddle's main passion. Several of his minerals are on display in the National Museum of Scotland.

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National Museums Scotland Appoints New Director of Collections

National Museums Scotland is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Sam Alberti as its new Director of Collections.

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Fossil Hunters: Unearthing the Mystery of Life on Land

This exhibition explored how life on earth moved from water onto land 360-345 million years ago.

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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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Romans in Scotland: highlight objects

See five highlight objects that summarise the legacy of Rome's invasions of Scotland

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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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Second World War: People and Places

Images of people taking part in aspects of everyday life at home and and on the front line during the Second World War from the Scottish Life Archive and the collection.

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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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