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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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Celts

This major exhibition, organised in partnership with the British Museum, unravelled the complex story of the different groups who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the extraordinary art objects they made and used.

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Margaret's Wardrobe

On 31 October 2014, Dr Chris Lee presented Margaret’s Wardrobe at the National Museum of Scotland, as part of Luminate: Scotland’s Festival of Creative Ageing. This illustrated talk showed how personal collections can help preserve self-identity, and how our museum collections continue to stimulate memories and discussion.

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Image library

The image library of National Museums Scotland comprises a vast wealth of material from our museums. Images from National Museums Scotland are available from the image library for reproduction in publications, film, television and other media.

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Research project details

Find out more about the AHRC project and its precursors.

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Annual Pass

Pay once, visit all year with the amazing Annual Pass.

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India

We have a long history of collaborating with museum institutions in India.

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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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Out and about in Edinburgh: an adult learners' course

Out and About in Edinburgh was a five week course, developed by the City Community Learning Team for adult learners from South Bridge Resource Centre, Edinburgh delivered at the National Museum of Scotland.

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A Vintage VE Day

Step back in time and experience life in wartime Britain to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

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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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Primary School resources

Trails and resources for Primary School visits to the National Museum of Scotland.

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Secondary School resources

Trails and resources for Secondary School visits to the National Museum of Scotland.

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What we do

At National Museums Scotland, we care for collections of national and international importance, preserving them, interpreting them and making them accessible to as many people as possible.

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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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Statement of Public Task

This statement outlines the functions carried out by National Museums Scotland that are within the Museum’s Public Task under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

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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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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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Stirling Engine

A Stirling engine is powered by hot air rather than steam. Now 200 years old, its revolutionary technology has become even more relevant today.

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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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Museum Maker: Make a champion’s rosette

Summer is usually the season for gala days and rural shows, including our own Heavy Horse Show. Celebrate the champions you know – family, friends or even pets - by making them a personalised rosette!

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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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The Adventures of Dolly the Sheep

As part of the celebrations for the opening of ten new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland, the Young Demonstrators worked with artist Henry Cruickshank to create a comic strip starring our very own super sheep, Dolly.

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Tyrannosaurs

Visitors met the most feared and revered of all dinosaurs in this cutting-edge exhibition, that brought the latest discoveries in palaeontology to life and challenging preconceptions about these ferocious predators.

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Membership

Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits and support the work of National Museums Scotland. Join us from just £43.

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Silver spoons

These silver spoons were bought by Assistant Surgeon Stewart Chisholm using prize money awarded to him for his service at Waterloo.

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HomeWorks

HomeWorks is a project inspired by art and design collections at the National Museum of Scotland. Led by artists Katie and Sophie Orton and Ali Glanville-Jones, the workshops aim to inspire creativity, connect people to our new Art, Design and Fashion galleries, and encourage an understanding of design processes.

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Dividing the Spoils: Perspectives on military collecting and the British Empire

Find out more about our edited volume, published by Manchester University Press.

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Living in Renaissance Scotland: the highs and lows

Join curator Anna Groundwater for a guided virtual tour of life in Renaissance Scotland at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Unmask the Lewis chess pieces

Welcome to the world of the Lewis chess pieces! Discover all there is to know about these mysterious figures in this interactive resource.

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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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Gift Membership

Give memories that last a lifetime, give the gift of Membership.

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Lews Castle

We have an established partnership with Museum nan Eilean and have worked together on a variety of projects since 2006.

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Contact us and Membership FAQs

Everything you need to know about Member benefits, becoming a Member, renewing or changing your Membership and gift Membership.

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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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Discovering Japan

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

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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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Rip It Up associated events

As well as a host of live performances, talks and discussions hosted at the National Museum of Scotland, an exciting programme of associated events will be taking place across Edinburgh during the exhibition run.

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Tibetan objects

Most of the objects in the Museum’s Tibetan collection were acquired in the short timespan of 1890-1930, less than a lifetime, making this collection a snapshot of the British Empire’s relationship with Tibet.

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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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National Fund for Acquisitions 60th anniversary

December 2013 marked 60 years of the National Fund for Acquisitions.

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History of the collection

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

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Tyrannosaurus rex

Meet the 12 metre-long, spectacular life-sized skeleton cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Scotland.

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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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