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The Matter of Slavery in Scotland

‘The Matter of Slavery in Scotland’ was a collaborative research project with the University of Edinburgh which explored the history and legacy of Scotland’s connections with the transatlantic slave system through objects in public collections.

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Natural Science Collections Across Scotland

Natural Science Collections Across Scotland was a two-year project, funded by John Ellerman Foundation, working with museums across Scotland to advance curatorial expertise and increase engagement with natural science collections.

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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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Democracy for Scotland tent

This tent was a home-made 'mini' vigil travelling stall used by members of the Democracy for Scotland campaign.

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Request a loan from National Museums Scotland

Institutions may use this form to apply to National Museums Scotland for loan of objects.

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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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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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Ming: The Golden Empire
Past exhibitions

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

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Annual Review 2017

This has been an exceptional year for National Museums Scotland. Across our museums we have welcomed over 2.7 million visitors, 1.84 million of these to the National Museum of Scotland making it the most popular museum outside of London and the most visited attraction in Scotland.

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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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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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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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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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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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NMS Enterprises

National Museums Scotland Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Museums Scotland.

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Our links with Edinburgh University

National Museums Scotland and the University of Edinburgh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, underlining a commitment to greater joint working.

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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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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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Membership

Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits and support the work of National Museums Scotland. Join us from just £43.

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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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Leave a gift in your will and help our stories live on

Each object in our collection has a story to tell. Your gift, no matter how small or large, will ensure they are told for generations to come.

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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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Fossils in Aberdeen and North East Scotland

Collections in Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen.

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Play and learn

Play online games exploring a range of museum subjects.

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Screenshot from Discover Your Animal animation
Watch and listen

Explore the amazing collections of National Museums Scotland through films, animations and podcasts.

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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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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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Research Library

The Research Library is our main reading room on level 3 of 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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Meetings and conferences

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

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Turkey red in Scotland

‘Turkey red’ is a complex dyeing process which produced a bright, fast red. Find out more about this centuries old process.

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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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Charles Darwin's Scaly-throated earthcreeper

This earthcreeper was one of thousands of specimens collected during a voyage that Charles Darwin joined on the HMS Beagle.

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Freedom of Information Act (Scotland)

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 came into full force on January 1st 2005. The act aims to increase openness and accountability in government and across the public sector by ensuring that people have the right to access information held by Scottish public authorities.

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Top 10 things to see and do

Your journey of discovery starts here...

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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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Wellbeing at the museum

Resources and ideas to support wellbeing

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Rip It Up associated events

As well as a host of live performances, talks and discussions hosted at the National Museum of Scotland, an exciting programme of associated events will be taking place across Edinburgh during the exhibition run.

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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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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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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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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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Our supporters

We are extremely grateful to all our donors and supporters who contribute to the on-going success of National Museums Scotland.

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Glenmorangie Research Project

The Glenmorangie Research Project on Early Medieval Scotland began in 2008 and since then has uncovered exciting new insights on this important period of Scotland’s past.

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Advisory Board Meeting at the National Museum of World Cultures, Leiden

On 28 November 2018, colleagues from our Advisory Board met at the National Museum of World Cultures in Leiden to discuss how the project has progressed since our last meeting.

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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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