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Refracting Telescopes

While reflecting telescopes came to predominate as large astronomical instruments in dedicated observatories, refracting instruments continue to be the most popular choice for portable instruments, from naval spyglasses to birdwatchers’ binoculars.

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In Conversation: Inspiring Walter Scott

Join our curators to explore the fascinating objects that inspired Sir Walter Scott and the celebrated novels in which they feature.

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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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Assyrian relief

The panel was given to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1865 by Sir James Young Simpson.

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Taguchi Fumiki's Wound Around choker

This acquisition by contemporary Japanese artist, Taguchi Fumiki, has been laboriously carved to sparkle like diamonds.

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An Egyptian Luxury in Roman Scotland

Discover how research and collecting at National Museums Scotland is reshaping understandings of Scotland in the past as we take a closer look at a very special Roman object with surprising Egyptian origins.

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Designing for the Climate: Circular Economy

Discover more about the Circular Economy through the work of young people across Scotland, led by Ostrero.

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Waka Taua

Maori craftsmanship and museum conservation bring to life one of our most unusual and intriguing objects.

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Explore the galleries

From the age of dinosaurs to the technology of the future, our galleries contain treasures from around the world.

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Elements: Aether

Investigate the 'fifth element' through the wonders of digital technology, from early computers to the development of mobile telephones and robot repairs.

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Jean Muir archive

In a fashion career spanning more than 40 years, Jean Muir acquired a reputation for restrained, elegant design and a devoted following. Explore signature styles from the Jean Muir archive and discover what made her designs so innovative and enduring.

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Ask Me Anything with Meredith Greiling, Senior Curator of Transport

If you’ve ever wondered why ships and boats are female, why a maritime historian loves the film Titanic and what makes working for National Museums Scotland a dream job… get online and ask our friendly expert.

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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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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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Awesome Bricks at home

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

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Vivienne Westwood suit

Scotland Creates volunteer Bethany Lane introduces this distinctive Harris Tweed suit created by iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

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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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Mami Wata brass tray

This embossed object is one of thousands of shallow brass basins, bowls and trays from Europe which were traded extensively along the west coast of Africa.

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Model oomiak commissioned by Isobel Wylie Hutchison

Isobel Wylie Hutchison was a botanist, arctic traveller, filmmaker, writer and poet. During her 1927 visit to Greenland, she commissioned this flat bottomed model oomiak.

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First live lunar television broadcast

Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon on 20 July 1969. NASA used technology first developed in 1928 by the Scottish innovator John Logie Baird to develop a small, robust television camera that enabled the live broadcast from this mission.

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The story of syringes

Syringes are important medical tools and have been around for thousands of years. With the ongoing vaccination effort against COVID-19, you or a loved one may well have encountered one quite recently.

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Ancient Egypt across Scotland

An incredible array of Egyptian objects can be found in museums across Scotland, from tiny amulets to massive stone monuments. National Museums Scotland and museums across the country are studying these artefacts together to improve our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture and Scotland’s contribution to Egyptology.

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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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Elements: Water

Water, water everywhere with worms, whales ​and sharks ​- and simple solutions for boiling water and solar energy.

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The Galloway Hoard: hoards and the Viking Age in historical context

Find out what a hoard is, how historians and archaeologists have interpreted them, and why the Galloway Hoard is truly unique.

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LGBTQIA+ Hidden Histories Trail

Discover unexplored stories in our LGBTQIA+ Hidden Histories audio trail.

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Image adapted from a lithograph by J. Maclise, 1841/1844. Credit: Wellcome Collection
Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life

Explore the history of anatomical study, from artistic explorations by Leonardo da Vinci to the Burke and Hare murders.

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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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Scotland 365

Engaging young people with museums.

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Elements of Edinburgh Science Festival

Discover amazing science from inside your own home as we explore the elemental themes of the Edinburgh Science Festival 2020.

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How to make a Dragon Sock Puppet

In this video, artist Sophie Orton shows how to make your own dragon sock puppet from things you have at home.

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Triumph of Prudence tapestry

Hung in Europe’s most noble households, this luxurious tapestry belongs to a Flemish set known as The Triumph of the Seven Virtues. It was woven in Brussels during the early 16th century.

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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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James Clerk Maxwell's inventions

Discover three scientific instruments made for the Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell, one of the world's greatest physicists.

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