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Top 10 things to see and do

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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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Scotland's native wildlife

Home to over 90,000 species, Scotland’s land, seas and skies support a wide range of native mammals and birds, amphibians, reptiles and over 50,000 different invertebrates. The collection at National Museums Scotland has examples of some of the iconic, at risk and once extinct birds and mammals native to Scotland.

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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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Margaret Tytler's Indian models

This fascinating collection of scale models provides an invaluable source of information on life in 19th century India.

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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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Clyde's Museum Adventure

Explore the highlights of the museum and our working farm with this family trail.

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New to the National Collection

New to the National Collection showcased the latest additions to our collections, including objects that will feature in ten new galleries in 2016.

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Scotland's Early Silver

The story of Scotland’s early silver and how this precious metal helped to shape the first kingdoms of Scotland.

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Oracle Bones

Oracle bones are parts of animal bone, used in divination ceremonies in ancient China. National Museums Scotland’s collection of oracle bones dates from the late Shang dynasty (c.1200–1050 BC) and was found at Yinxu site near Anyang city, in central China.

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Artist's concept of a fission surface power system on Mars.
Stirling Engine

A Stirling engine is powered by hot air rather than steam. Now 200 years old, its revolutionary technology has become even more relevant today.

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Made in Scotland, Changing the World

Over the last 300 years, Scottish scientists and engineers have made discoveries and inventions that have changed our relationship with the world. From simple, everyday processes to cutting edge of 21st-century medicine, Scotland remains at the heart of scientific innovation.

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Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Rural Life

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Visitors in front of the BAC 1-11
Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Flight

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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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© MOD Crown copyright  

The world famous Red Arrows conduct a daredevil close pass manoeuvre during display training in Greece.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic team The Red Arrows deployed to Andravida and Tenagra in Greece to begin Exercise Springhawk.

The exercise runs from the 19th March until 05th May in Greece, and will consist of the Red Arrows performing their 9 ship display three times a day over various datums in order fir the display to meet the high standards expected for the display season. The end of the exercise will be marked by the pilots being awarded Public Display Authority which will allow them to display in public and wear the iconic red suits.
Hawk wings

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. A stunning pair of Hawk wings with the iconic RAF Red Arrows livery are on display in the new Explore gallery at the National Museum of 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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Image adapted from a lithograph by J. Maclise, 1841/1844. Credit: Wellcome Collection
Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life. School Visits.

Visit our Anatomy: A matter of Death and Life temporary exhibition with your class. Please note bookings for the academic year 2021/22 are now closed. Bookings for 2022/23 will open on Monday 8 August 2022.

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National Museums Scotland Launches Gaelic Language Consultation

National Museums Scotland has launched a consultation on its draft Gaelic Language Plan.

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The Glenmorangie Commission

In 2018, the internationally renowned metalsmith Simone ten Hompel was commissioned by National Museums Scotland and The Glenmorangie Company to create a new artwork inspired by our curatorial research and the Museum’s collection of metal artefacts from early medieval Scotland.

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James Clerk Maxwell animated

During 2013, our Scotland Creates volunteers at National Museum of Scotland worked with curators from our Science and Technology department to investigate objects on display in our galleries. This film, one of three made with animator Cameron Duguid, was written and directed by our volunteers and displays their unique perspective on James Clerk Maxwell's dynamic top.

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Spotlight On: Our Seas

Curator Fiona Ware and Dr Dan Harries from Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Life & Earth Sciences introduce some of Scotland’s finest marine habitats and discuss the importance of the museum’s specimen collections to monitoring changes in our seas.

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Support for home educators

Explore a range of resources and offers for home education groups and individuals.

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General self-led visit

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

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Colour photo of a man holding a small child whilst looking at a willow sculpture of a cat sitting on a wall.
Willow Sculpture Trail

Discover our new trail on a walk to the farm.

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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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Parasites: Battle for Survival

Join the battle against five tropical diseases and the parasites that cause them in this interactive exhibition and discover how scientific research taking place in Scotland is leading the way in this field.

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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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History of the typewriter

The typewriter not only revolutionised offices, but also transformed the world of work, especially for women. But the impact of these machines has been much wider than just speeding up the way we write.

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Articulated Necklace by Dorothy Hogg

This articulated silver necklace encapsulating a large labradorite disc is one of Dorothy Hogg’s earliest works (1969-70).

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Darien chest

Discover the story of Scotland's failed venture to colonise part of Panama in the 17th century.

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Prisoners of war at East Kilbride

During and directly after the Second World War, the Reid family at Wester Kittochside, East Kilbride employed both Italian and German prisoners of war.

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Press archive

Our press office handles UK and international media requests for the four national museums and our collection centre.

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Museum trails

Explore the museum collections and historic airfield with our family trails.

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Iranian fashion design

In 2015, the Edinburgh Iranian Festival and National Museums Scotland celebrated new movements in Iranian dress and design with a magnificent fashion show. On this occasion, the Museum acquired a selection of women’s clothing for its existing textile collection from Iran.

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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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Phoebe Anna Traquair

The first important professional woman artist of modern Scotland, Phoebe Anna Traquair was a leading figure within the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement.

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An Ocean sunfish and a scuba diver
Revealing the Secrets of the Rosemarkie Sunfish

Discover the facts about a large ocean sunfish that stranded off Scotland’s coast in 2020 and hear what we can learn from studying this strange fish.

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The Heddle collection

Professor Matthew Forster Heddle (1828-1897) was Scotland's most famous mineralogist. At National Museums Scotland, we look after 5,700 specimens from his collection.

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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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Black, white and green iIlustration for Selfie Safari featuring from left to right polar bear and Arctic fox, a monkey and a Reindeer.
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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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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Jompy water boiler

Developed here in Scotland in 2010, this sustainable technology is helping to bring clean drinking water to the developing world

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