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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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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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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 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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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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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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National Museums Scotland Launches Gaelic Language Consultation

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

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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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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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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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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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The Silver Casket

See an iconic piece of Scotland’s national heritage, the silver casket believed to have been owned by Mary, Queen of Scots.

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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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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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Clyde's Winter Trail

Discover how Clyde and his friends have been getting ready for the festive season decorating their stables and celebrating.

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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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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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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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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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Darien chest

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

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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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Press archive

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

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Bird Pin trail

Families can pick up our new trail to find the Bird Pin, from the Galloway Hoard, hiding amongst her feathered friends around the National Museum of Scotland.

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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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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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Family hub

All you need to know for a great family visit at the museum.

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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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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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The Galloway Hoard National Tour

The Galloway Hoard brings together the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.

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Lighthouses

Discover the story of the people who designed, built and operated Scotland's lighthouses through the objects which brought their role to life.

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Silver dirhams from the Storr Rock Viking Hoard

A 10th-century hoard found on the Isle of Skye contained 19 dirhams, silver coins from the Islamic emirates of central Asia. These were not exotic curiosities collected by a Viking traveller, but evidence of trade routes connecting Scotland across vast distances at the turn of the first millennium.

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About us

Our mission is to preserve, interpret and make accessible for all, the past and present of Scotland, other nations and cultures, and the natural world.

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St Andrew and the Saltire

St Andrew is Scotland's patron saint and his Saltire (X-shaped) cross is Scotland's flag. Discover more about how he has been represented through the centuries.

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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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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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Awesome Bricks at home

Recreate your favourite museum objects and places using the LEGO you have at home!

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Woolly mammoth tusks

Two pieces of tusk in our collection show that some woolly mammoths made their home in Scotland, while another provides early evidence of mammoths in North America.

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Dolly and the Atom Smasher

Fly across Scotland with Dolly the sheep, hitch a ride to space on a rocket and collect museum objects along the way.

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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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Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, SP13/7
The Declaration of Arbroath

This exhibition will be rescheduled at a later date.

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The Galloway Hoard: Viking-Age Treasure

Visitors were able to see cleaned and conserved objects from the Hoard, revealing intricate decoration not seen since the objects' burial more than 1,000 years ago.

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Top things to see and do

Make the most of your visit with our museum highlights. Your rural adventure starts here!

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Corporate & Social Events

The National Museum of Scotland in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town offers the most stunning setting for memorable events.

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Cup and cover by Malcolm Appleby

This striking ceremonial standing cup and cover was created especially for the Museum by virtuoso silversmith Malcolm Appleby.

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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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Culloden: Regimental colours

These rare Jacobite and British military colours were carried into battle at Culloden by opposing sides.

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