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Visiting with additional support needs pupils

We have a range of initiatives to support and welcome pupils with additional support needs to the National Museum of Scotland.

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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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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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Messerschmitt Komet

The Messerschmitt Komet was the fastest aircraft of the Second World War, and the only rocket-powered fighter plane ever to be used in combat.

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Pacific collections at Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Investigate the Pacific material in Perth.

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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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Thai Ceramics

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

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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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The heroes of U-559: an Enigma mystery

On 30 October 1942, at the height of the Second World War, two sailors gave their lives in the service of their country. Discover their story here.

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Enigma encoding machine

This Enigma machine is of the type used by the German Navy on submarines to encode messages during World War II. Discover the secrets of this famous code maker 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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Reflections on Celts

A spotlight tour from National Museums Scotland and the British Museum.

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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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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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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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Tractors

From the early 20th century, the tractor helped to transformed farm life in Scotland. There are several examples on display in the collection at the National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride.

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4th South African Infantry (South African Scottish), France, 1918 © Ditsong National Museum of Military History
Common Cause

This exhibition explored the stories of the Scottish diaspora and the war experiences of Commonwealth nations during the First World War.

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The box that went on the March to Kandahar

Here we examine a decorated wooden box in the collections of the Highlanders Museum that was purchased as a souvenir from Afghanistan in 1880.

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Newcomen atmospheric engine

Visitors to the Scotland Transformed gallery at National Museum of Scotland cannot miss the mighty Newcomen engine.

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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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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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Missionaries and Tibetan material culture

Explore how missionaries made a significant impact on gathering the materials featured within the Tibetan collections at the National Museum of Scotland, with their materials peaking between 1890-1904.

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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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Material Encounters

This project reassessed military collecting through a pilot study of two British military campaigns, the Seven Years' War in North America (1754-63) and the Younghusband Mission to Tibet (1903-04).

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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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Ming: The Golden Empire
Past exhibitions

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

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Pembridge helm

This 14th-century great helm belonged to one of King Edward III's knights, Sir Richard Pembridge, who fought in the Hundred Years' War between England and France.

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Nurse Mellor's autograph book

Florence Mellor worked as a volunteer nurse treating wounded troops.

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Elements: Air

Discover how air has been used in modes of transport from airships to hot air balloons and how different species make use of air to travel through flight and gliding.

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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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Kunwar Singh’s Silver Fly Whisk

One of the aims of the project is to begin to untangle the many ways in which objects come into museum collections. Here we investigate the provenance of a fly whisk associated with the Indian Uprising of 1857-8.

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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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Construction of R34 was completed on 20 December 1918 and it was flown to East Fortune in May 1919.
Airship R.34

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic flight from Britain to the United States. On 2 July 1919 Airship R.34 departed from East Fortune Airfield, landing on Long Island, New York 108 hours later.

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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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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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Micro parasites

We are at war with the malaria parasite! Can you fight this as it transforms into different deadly strains of malaria?

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Legacies of Empire

Legacies of Empire examines the histories connected to objects brought back from colonial conflict by the military forces of the British Empire.

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History of East Fortune

East Fortune Airfield is the UK's best-preserved Second World War airfield. Discover its history from its beginnings in the First World War to its transformation to a national museum.

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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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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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Research Library

The Research Library is our main reading room on level 3 of the National Museum of 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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Annual Review 2016

This has been a landmark year at National Museums Scotland.

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Our collections

The wealth of objects in the national collection represent everything from Scottish and international archaeology to applied arts and design, from world cultures and social history to science, technology and the natural world.

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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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