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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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Newcomen atmospheric engine

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

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Nurse Mellor's autograph book

Florence Mellor worked as a volunteer nurse treating wounded troops.

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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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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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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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Schools

Bring the Curriculum for Excellence to life with the help of the national collections.

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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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Cybraphon

Meet Cybraphon, the moody autonomous robot band in a box created by Edinburgh-based artist collective FOUND.

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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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Summer Satchels

See the National Museum of Flight in a different way this summer with our new family activity satchels.

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The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line is one of the best known of all Scottish historical paintings and is the classic representation of Highland military heroism as an icon of Scotland.

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Closing the Gates at Hougoumont

This picture shows a turning point during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

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Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder

Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder will explore the science behind the global hit television series Doctor Who and give fans a chance to experience the Doctor’s adventures from a scientific perspective.

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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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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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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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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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Museum Maker: Bird Safari

Head outdoors and see how many brilliant birds you can spot with the help of some bright binoculars! Learn how to make them here!

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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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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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Portrait of Sergeant-Major John Dickson

John Dickson was a Paisley weaver who joined the army in 1807 and rode in the famous charge of the Union Brigade at Waterloo.

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Romans in Scotland: major archaeological sites

Archaeological finds from Rome's invasions of Scotland can be found throughout the country, from the Solway Firth to Moray. Three of the most prominent sites are Trimontium, Traprain Law, and the Antonine Wall.

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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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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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Second World War: Meet the pilot

Learn about the life of a pilot during the Second World War.

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Nature Track Packs

Explore more at the National Museum of Rural Life this summer with our new Nature Track Packs.

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Build a story at the museum with Scottish Book Trust

Museums are great places to uncover stories. Build your own story, inspired by our amazing objects.

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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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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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Henrik Grönvold [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Giant ibis

Find out more about the only giant ibis skeleton owned by any museum in the world.

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Museum Make: Busy Blue Tit

Make your own bird spotting Blue Tit buddy with these instructions!

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Robots

Some robots have arrived at the Museum needing our help! But sometimes the best person to fix a robot... is another robot!

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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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