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STEM engagement

Find out more about the diversity of our science collections, our research and our commitment to science communication through formal and informal learning.

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Become a Patron

Join as a Patron today and help us care for the remarkable objects in our collections and share their stories with the world.

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East Asia Reveal Displays

Sharing new and interesting stories about Chinese, Japanese and Korean collections in Scotland.

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Special projects

This vital support from funding and grants enables communities across Scotland to enjoy access to our collections, try fun activities and experience new learning opportunities.

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Schools

Welcome to a world of learning with National Museums Scotland

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Dr Fraser Hunter

Fraser Hunter is Principal Curator of Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology.

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Immunity from seizure

Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 provides immunity from seizure for cultural objects which are loaned from overseas to temporary public exhibitions in approved museums or galleries in the UK where the conditions are met when the object enters the UK.

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W. & R. Chambers collection

There are over 20,000 wood engraving blocks in the W. & R. Chambers Collection at National Museums Scotland. Over 7,000 of these blocks were created to print the illustrations in Chambers’s Encyclopaedia, which was first published in 1859.

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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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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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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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Ideas and resources for teachers

Explore our online learning resources covering topics within Social Studies, Languages and STEM.

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An emperor's eggstraordinary egg

A new acquisition highlighting the way our collections continue to document the impact of rapid environmental change.

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Discover Robert Burns

Get to know Scottish literary icon Robert Burns through remarkable objects in the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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The Sunday Sketch

Join us to learn how to sketch using our incredible collections as inspiration.

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Rediscovering Viking-age Scotland with Michael Wood

Acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood joins Dr Adrián Maldonado, Glenmorangie Research Fellow, to discuss Adrián’s new book, 'Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom'. The book reassesses the museum’s Viking-age collections, uncovering an exciting new vision of Scotland’s diverse and creative past.

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Jewellery handling box (S5-6)

This teacher-led session offers National Qualifications 3-5 and Higher students a chance to explore our contemporary jewellery handling collection.

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Dr Alison Morrison-Low

Alison Morrison-Low is a Research Associate.

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Objects associated with Robert Burns

A variety of objects relating to the life of Scotland's bard can be found in National Museums Scotland's collections.

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Pacific regions

Search the partner museum collections by Pacific region.

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International exhibitions

Our wide-ranging exhibition programme brings prestigious objects and artworks from around the world to audiences in Scotland, as well as showcasing our international collections.

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Silver, Status and Society – the transition from Late Roman to Early Medieval Europe

National Museums Scotland is establishing an international network of scholars to explore the role of silver in the emergence of the early medieval kingdoms of Europe. This network has been made possible thanks to an award from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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Supporting our sector

We offer advice and support to museums across Scotland, enhancing and developing collections subject expertise through training, targeted projects and partnerships.

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Dr Godfrey Evans

Dr Godfrey Evans is Principal Curator of European Decorative Arts.

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Dr Tacye Philipson

Dr Tacye Phillipson is Senior Curator of Science.

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Louise Innes

Louise Innes is a Research Associate.

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The Art of African Metalwork

Discover how brass and copper once featured as mediums of exchange, status and power in Africa through highlights of the museum’s 19th and early 20th century collections from west and central Africa.

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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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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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Museum trails

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

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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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Who was Robert Burns?

Discover the life of the National Bard through the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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Bicycles at National Museums Scotland

Journey through a brief history of the early bicycle and discover some of our modern cycling treasures.

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Workflow

Preparation is key to taking good images of your collections.

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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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African Barkcloth: Tradition, Innovation and Change

This curatorial research project aims to find out more about the contexts of collection, production and use of the National Museums Scotland African barkcloth collection.

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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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Sir Everard and Lady Hannah im Thurn's Sri Lankan collection

Between 1925 and 1935 a fascinating collection of objects and glass lantern slides were donated to the Museum from Sri Lanka.

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Heddle's agate collection

Agates form Heddle’s greatest and most beautiful collection.

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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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Heddle's rock collection

Although rock collecting was not Heddle's main passion, he still took time to collect the occasional rock and even fossil specimens.

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Professor Matthew Heddle biography

Heddle was a larger than life character, a renowned academic and one of Scotland's most famous mineralogists.

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Bibliography of MF Heddle

Full bibliography of the renowned mineralogist Professor Matthew Forster Heddle.

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Discovering Ancient Egypt

A touring exhibition examining Scotland’s contribution to Egyptology through the lives of three remarkable people.

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Natural Sciences department

Our Natural Sciences collections cover both life sciences and earth sciences.

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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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Play and learn

Play online games exploring a range of museum subjects.

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Museum Art Challenge

What inspires you in our museums? Get creative and join our month-long online art challenge at National Museums Scotland!

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For Teachers: Ten Minute Activities

Use one of our ten-minute activities with your class today, with suggestions for how you can extend.

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