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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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Articulated Necklace by Dorothy Hogg

This articulated silver necklace encapsulating a large labradorite disc is one of Dorothy Hogg’s earliest works (1969-70).

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Artist's concept of a fission surface power system on Mars.
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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Art and Science – Communicating the Climate Emergency

Our panel of artists and museum curators discuss the urgency of the climate and biodiversity crisis, the research and technology being used to tackle it and how art can help communicate this critical message and inspire change.

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Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots is one of the most famous yet enigmatic figures in Scottish history. Explore her dramatic story through objects in our collection.

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Entrance to the Anatomical Museum at the University of Edinburgh.
Death and the City: Edinburgh, Anatomy and the Case of Burke and Hare 

Experience an exclusive evening in The University of Edinburgh’s historic Anatomy Lecture Theatre and the National Museum of Scotland’s latest exhibition, as you discover the city’s unique role in the story of anatomy.

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Sir James Black's Nobel Prize medal

Sir James Black was one of the greatest Scottish scientists of the modern era. His work in medicine and pharmacology has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world.

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Nimrod XV241 front fuselage

This Nimrod XV241 served with the RAF from the early 1970s until March 2010.

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Jain painting

Discover how this stunning, detailed wall hanging was brought back to life by our Textile Conservation team.

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The Circular Economy

Discover more about the Circular Economy through the Making Circles schools project, led by Ostrero.

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Our Chinese collection

From ancient ceramics to imperial jade, oracle bones to contemporary propaganda posters, our Chinese collection spans over four thousand years and includes around 11,000 items.

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'Sculpture look' by Craig Green

This dramatic ensemble by British designer Craig Green heads up the catwalk in our Fashion and Style gallery.

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Celebrating Black Fashion

Join model and broadcaster Eunice Olumide as she shares her experience of a transforming industry with museum curator Georgina Ripley.

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Illustrating Egyptian excavations: Annie Pirie Quibell

Aberdeen-born Annie Pirie was one of the first women in the United Kingdom to study Egyptology. Discover how this trained artist and pioneering archaeologist has left a lasting legacy.

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The Eglinton tournament: the quest for authenticity

In August 1839, Lord Eglinton held a mock-medieval tournament at his estate in North Ayrshire, Scotland. The event was hugely popular, and around 100,000 people attended. Step onto the battlefield and discover some of the objects associated with this flamboyant festival here.

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Environmental enrichment for captive Killer whales

A look at how environmental enrichment affects captive Killer whale skeletons by mimicking natural behaviours.

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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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Sanaa Gateja's bead-work shawl

Colourful and intriguing, this shawl transforms waste paper into a statement piece of art and fashion.

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History of the National Museum of Scotland

In 2016, we celebrated 150 years since the magnificent building that houses the National Museum of Scotland first opened to the public. Explore the Museum’s history here.

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The Cossar newspaper printing press

Discover how this unique piece of Scottish printing heritage found a new home at the National Museums Collection Centre – bringing with it a sprinkle of Harry Potter magic!

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Bernat Klein at National Museums Scotland

Textile designer and artist Bernat Klein put Scottish fashion on the map during the 1960s. Discover his colourful mohairs and tweeds, inspired by the landscape around his Scottish Borders studio.

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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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The mystery of the miniature coffins

Satanic spell, superstitious charm or echo of Edinburgh’s grisly underworld history? We examine the theories put forward to explain the strange tale of these tiny coffins.

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Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. Wellcome Collection.
Silent Teachers: The Story of Modern Body Donation

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

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Burmese amber

Discover how this enigmatic material is shining a light on ecosystems millions of years old.

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James Clerk Maxwell's thermodynamic surface

James Clerk Maxwell created this 3D model to represent the behaviour of an imaginary substance showing its solid, liquid and gas states.

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British ensemble by Marks & Spencer

This classic outfit was part of Marks & Spencer's 'Best of British' range, which celebrated British craftsmanship and creativity.

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Biobank

Our specialist Biobank facility comprises thousands of frozen tissue samples used by researchers worldwide as sources of DNA.

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Barkcloth dance masks from Papua New Guinea

Three dramatic barkcloth masks offer an insight into the traditional beliefs and celebrations of the Elema people from the Gulf of Papua, Papua New Guinea, at the turn of the 20th century.

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How do you design a LEGO typewriter?

The LEGO typewriter consists of over 2000 pieces and features many mechanical details. It moves and sounds just like the real thing!

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Comparative analysis of vestibular ecomorphology in birds

Is it possible to infer the agility or manoeuvrability of a fossil animal from the shape of its labyrinth?

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Dr Evelyn Baxter and Miss Leonora Rintoul

Meet 'the good ladies' of bird collecting, two pioneering ornithologists whose work is still influential today.

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Egypt, Past and Present in Dialogue

Discuss the legacies of British archaeological practices in Egypt at a panel discussion chaired by journalist, writer and broadcaster Samira Ahmed.

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Nature's Palette: Colouring our World

A lavishly illustrated new guide to Werner’s Nomenclature of Colour marking the bicentenary of the publication of the second edition.

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Portrait cloth commemorating Mary Slessor

Why should a 19th century Scottish woman feature on a contemporary African cloth? Discover the story of Mary Slessor: missionary, magistrate and champion of women's rights.

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Disks from James Clerk Maxwell's colour top

James Clerk Maxwell used these coloured disks during his research into colour vision.

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