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Commonwealth Games objects

In 2014 Scotland welcomed the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow. Objects from our collection give an insight into the history of the games.

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The Reid Family Christmas and New Year

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years. Find out how the tenth laird and his family celebrated Christmas and New Year on the farm.

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Excavating in Egypt

Excavated in 1908, the complete burial of the ‘Qurna Queen’ expands our understanding of a tumultuous time in Egypt’s history.

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Museum Screen Time: expert reacts to the Viking Age in pop culture

Join Galloway Hoard researcher Dr Adrián Maldonado as he reacts to depictions of the Viking Age in movies, TV and video games.

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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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Bicycles at National Museums Scotland

Journey through a brief history of the early bicycle and discover some of our modern cycling treasures.

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Game Masters

Featuring over 100 playable games, Game Masters showcased the work of more than 30 leading videogame designers.

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Visitors play with games and consoles across Game On within the exhibition space at Life in Newcastle.
Game On

Explore the largest interactive exhibition of the history and the culture of video games. 29 Jun - 3 Nov 2024. Tickets on sale spring 2024.

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Learning resources for schools

Explore stories, films, games and resources from the museums’ collections.

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Make your own Lewis chess piece

The Lewis chess pieces live in the National Museum of Scotland. Colour them in or cut out and make your own chess piece here.

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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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Different aircraft hanging in the Science and Technology gallery
Science and Technology galleries

Communications, transport, industry, engineering, energy and medicine: how have scientific and technological inventions changed our lives?

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A group of carved Lewis chess pieces
The Lewis chess pieces

These medieval chess pieces from the Scottish island of Lewis are among our most popular collections. They give us fascinating insights into the international connections of western Scotland and the growing popularity of chess in medieval Europe.

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Child looks towards the right through a brass telescope.
Curiosity Club

Calling all inquisitive kids aged 7 -11! Our popular Curiosity Clubs are back for more adventure, discovery and fun.

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A woman viewing a series of costume masks in the Performance Lives gallery
World Cultures galleries

How can you travel around the world without leaving Scotland? By visiting our World Cultures galleries.

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Vine arm

This beautiful botanical prosthetic arm was designed by Sophie de Oliveira Barata for model Kelly Knox.

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Two children in a gallery, one leans back with a look of surprise, the other rests on the display in front.
Family Galleries

Filled with interactives and spaces for reflection, stories and experimentation, our family friendly galleries have something for everyone.

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Collecting the Present

National Museums Scotland is collecting history as it happens. Our new film series, Collecting the Present, explores objects we have collected recently that document cultural, political and social change in Scotland.

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East and Central Asia

The Museum’s East and Central Asian collections, comprised of over 36,000 objects, are of national and international importance. The collection includes ceramics, lacquer, prints and paintings, clothing and textiles, ivory, metalwork, jade, furniture, contemporary art, and coins.

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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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Online ticket and Membership purchases are not available at the moment due to our system being upgraded. Tickets and Memberships can still be bought in person at our museums.

The upgrade should be complete by 12:00 on Monday 26 February so please check back soon. Thank you for your patience.