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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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Phoebe Anna Traquair

The first important professional woman artist of modern Scotland, Phoebe Anna Traquair was a leading figure within the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement.

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Jompy water boiler

Developed here in Scotland in 2010, this sustainable technology is helping to bring clean drinking water to the developing world

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Game On

Explore the largest interactive exhibition of the history and the culture of video games. Tickets on sale now.

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Lighthouses

Discover the story of the people who designed, built and operated Scotland's lighthouses through the objects which brought their role to life.

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Red wax seal depicting a man, Robert Bruce, on a charging warhorse holding up a sword.
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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About us

Our mission is to preserve, interpret and make accessible for all, the past and present of Scotland, other nations and cultures, and the natural world.

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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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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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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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Bird Pin trail

Families can pick up our new trail to find the Bird Pin, from the Galloway Hoard, hiding amongst her feathered friends around the National Museum of Scotland.

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Golden pin shaped like a bird, with long, flat tail, upturned wings and flamingo-like beak.
The Galloway Hoard: Viking-Age Treasure

Visitors were able to see cleaned and conserved objects from the Hoard, revealing intricate decoration not seen since the objects' burial more than 1,000 years ago.

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Silver dirhams from the Storr Rock Viking Hoard

A 10th-century hoard found on the Isle of Skye contained 19 dirhams, silver coins from the Islamic emirates of central Asia. These were not exotic curiosities collected by a Viking traveller, but evidence of trade routes connecting Scotland across vast distances at the turn of the first millennium.

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Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer

Only 89 Twin Pioneers were ever built – and you can see one in the National Museum of Flight.

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St Andrew and the Saltire

St Andrew is Scotland's patron saint and his Saltire (X-shaped) cross is Scotland's flag. Discover more about how he has been represented through the centuries.

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Blaschka models

Discover how these amazing glass models have been educating and inspiring visitors for almost 150 years.

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Culloden: Regimental colours

These rare Jacobite and British military colours were carried into battle at Culloden by opposing sides.

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Three young visitors scribble at a table.
Family hub

All you need to know for a great family visit at the museum.

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Cup and cover by Malcolm Appleby

This striking ceremonial standing cup and cover was created especially for the Museum by virtuoso silversmith Malcolm Appleby.

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The Rise and Fall of Hamilton Palace

The destruction of Hamilton Palace, the grandest stately home in Britain, was one of the greatest losses to national heritage ever to happen in this country. This is the story of how Scotland’s biggest treasure trove was won and lost.

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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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Painting of a chaotic battle scene of soldiers forcing a chateau gate closed against opposing soldiers on the other side.
Objects linked to Waterloo

Explore the story of Waterloo at the National War Museum.

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A pink corset with cream and gold lace trim
Mode

Mode brings the museum's wardrobe to life with a selection of 30 objects from the world of fashion.

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African dolls

These multi-coloured plastic dolls, western in their appearance, are very popular in Africa today.

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Ida Pappenheim scent bottle collection

In 1971, over 300 beautiful scent bottles were donated to National Museums Scotland. The scent bottles were collected by Ida Pappenheim. Discover the story behind this charming collection.

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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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Scotland's Climate Challenge

This exhibition highlights the exciting work being carried out in Scotland to fight against climate change.

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For Teachers: Secondary Resources

Explore a range of activities suitable for pupils working at Third and Fourth Levels and Senior Phase including the First World War, Parasites and Fashion.

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Museum Maker: How to make paper art

We’ve teamed up with upcyling experts Ostrero and artist Bryony Knox to create three paper-cut designs inspired by Scottish animals. Choose from a stately stag, a magical unicorn or a red squirrel! The designs are inspired by paper-cut art from Mexico . Look out for some examples in our Patterns of Life gallery.

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Sue Jane Taylor

Sue Jane Taylor has spent over thirty years recording the lives of workers in the North Sea oil and gas industry. These pages are a selection of Sue Jane Taylor's work that were on display in the Age of Oil exhibition (21 Jul - 5 Nov 2017), at the National Museum of Scotland.

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A black and white photo of a person holding a flag who is standing on a submarine which is at the surface of a loch.
Members' Preview Day: Cold War Scotland

We are delighted to invite National Museums Scotland Members and Patrons to an exclusive Preview Day of Cold War Scotland before the exhibition opens to the public.

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Who was Phoebe Anna Traquair?

The first important professional woman artist of modern Scotland, Phoebe Anna Traquair was a leading figure within the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement.

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Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland

Dramatic highland landscapes, tartan and bagpipes are among the defining images of Scotland for many people around the world today. This exhibition explored how they were used to represent Scotland.

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Maths in museums

Throughout 2022, we want to work with local museums across Scotland to integrate more maths into their museum programming and provide support to take part in Maths Week Scotland.

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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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Simple green line drawings of museum objects
Wellbeing Audio Trail

This trail is to help you to ‘reset’ and find some moments of mindfulness and wellbeing in the Museum. Listen on your own device as you explore the space.

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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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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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Painting of a dense line of soldiers on a battlefield pointing guns with bayonets at a man on a fallen horse.
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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A painting of several men in a battlefield trench in el Kebir, Egypt.
The Storming of Tel-el-Kebir

The battle of Tel-el-Kebir was a decisive moment in the British maintaining order in Egypt in the late 19th century and its depicted in a magnificent painting at National War Museum.

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Members' Event: Cold War Scotland

Join us for this exclusive Member event to discover how Scotland’s unique geography and topography affected its role in the Cold War and the how it influenced the lives of Scottish people.

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Ancient Southern European collections

Our ancient Southern European collections offer a window onto the diverse cultures that flourished along the Mediterranean coast in antiquity.

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Amelia Robertson Hill's statue of Hugh Miller

Amelia Robertson Hill was one of the few female sculptors in 19th-century Edinburgh. Her work can be found in many prominent locations in Scotland.

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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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Colour and draw

We asked our Facebook fans which objects from the National Museum of Scotland their families would like to colour in, and here are the results! From our family of lions to the giant sunfish, T-Rex to our elephant - is your favourite here?

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Red and green wax seals fixed to paper tassels attached to the Declaration of Arbroath.
The Declaration of Arbroath

A rare opportunity to see one of the most important documents in Scottish history.

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