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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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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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National Strategy

National Museums Scotland launched its first national strategy in 2006 and since then our work across the country has gone from strength to strength.

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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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Letters from the trenches

Find out about life in the trenches from a selection of letters from the First World War by Captain William Bennet-Clark.

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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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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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Child interacting with a display in the Patterns of Life gallery.
Top 10 activities to try with kids

The National Museum of Scotland is full of fun for kids of all ages!

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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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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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Robert Burns on film

Celebrate the life and legacy of Robert Burns in a series of films focussing on key objects associated with the bard.

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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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Giant ibis

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

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Ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections

National Museums Scotland’s internationally significant ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections comprise around 6,300 items. Explore its rich treasures here.

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Museum Make: Busy Blue Tit

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

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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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Black anatomical line drawing of muscles on a human form with hand outstretched, labelled with letters and Latin text.
Silent Teachers: The Story of Modern Body Donation

Inspired by our exhibition, Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life, our expert panel discussed the modern approach to anatomical study and body donation in this online event.

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A man from Oceania dramatically poses on a beach covered in a shallow layer of water and seaweed. Throwing his head back and striking a 'warrior pose', his long braided hair, traditional dyed cloth wrapping below his waist, and the boat paddle he holds make him seem powerful and heroic.
Rising Tide: Art and Environment in Oceania

A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland showcasing artworks created in response to the climate crisis in Australia and the Pacific Islands.

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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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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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Amateur Microscopists

In the early 18th century, natural history was an increasingly popular pastime and many people visited fields and ponds, often bringing a microscope, to investigate the flora and fauna.

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Tour of the Ancient Egyptian Gallery

Join curator Margaret Maitland for a guided virtual tour of our Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery.

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Trails for the National Museum of Flight

Explore the National Museum of Flight with your class using our themed trails.

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Art of Glass on film

Preparing for the Art of Glass exhibition at National Museum of Scotland.

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Newbridge chariot reconstruction

This splendid reconstruction brings to life an Iron Age chariot discovered at Newbridge, near Edinburgh Airport. Chariot burials were very exclusive, and this is the oldest in Britain.

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Tamworth pig

Tamworth pigs are well suited to the Scottish climate and are one of the oldest surviving pig breeds.

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Highland cattle

One of Britains's most distinctive, and best-known breeds, with a long, thick, flowing coat of rich hair and majestic sweeping horns, the Highland cattle have remained largely unchanged over the centuries.

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Discovering Japan

From Samurai treasures to tiny netsuke, the National Museum of Scotland has the largest Japanese collection in Scotland.

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Theatre district handscroll

This 13-metre-long handscroll shows the bustling life in the theatre district of Edo (today's Tokyo) around 1700. It shows people enjoying a range of entertainment, from puppet shows and Kabuki theatre to comic skits and private parties.

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Museum Maker: How to draw a King Penguin

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw a King Penguin from our collection.

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Museum Maker: How to draw an Egyptian Coffin

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw an Egyptian Coffin from our collection.

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Museum Maker: How to draw the Hunterston brooch

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw the Hunterston Brooch from our collection.

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From minerals to your mobile

A huge range of different elements are used to make up the components of a mobile phone. But did you know that many of them can be found in minerals you can see on display at the National Museum of Scotland?

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History of the David Livingstone collection

The story of how specimens make their way into a museum’s collection is often a peculiar one.

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Woman and man smiling in a gallery with glass cases out of focus..
Become a Member

Help protect remarkable objects and be the first to hear about the stories they hold.

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A teacher gathers a group of primary school pupils around an Egyptian Coffin.
Trails & resources for the National Museum of Scotland

Explore the National Museum of Scotland with your class using our themed trails.

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Foster stereo printing press model

This Victorian scale model of a printing press was made in the Museum's own workshop.

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Selfie Safari

Can you complete our Selfie Safari challenge? Find all the animals and take a family portrait with each one!

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Two children in sunglasses and hats look up with a British Airways plane behind them.
Book your tickets

The National Museum of Flight is open and tickets are available to book online.

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An adult and child get hands on with objects from our collection, supported by an Enabler.
Visiting FAQs

Learn more ahead of your visit to the National Museum of Scotland.

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Four visitors look into lit glass case.
Flying into the Future

Explore the future of flight with fun, family activities at the National Museum of Flight.

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Hawker Siddeley Harrier

Known as the ‘jump jet’, the Harrier was the world’s first vertical take-off combat aeroplane to enter operational service. The Harrier at the National Museum of Flight is the oldest in existence.

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Hawk wings

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. A stunning pair of Hawk wings with the iconic RAF Red Arrows livery are on display in the new Explore gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Brown-haired woman facing away from the camera looking at a laptop. Laptop screen has a slide with a Roman face mask.
Romans in Scotland: learning resources

Tools to help aid teaching and learning about the Romans in Scotland

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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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Scotland and the Caribbean

What do museum collections reveal about Britain’s and Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic slave system and the experiences of enslaved people?

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