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Explore our collections

Discover more about our amazing objects through stories, films, games and resources.

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Collections

Our collections represent Scottish material culture from the earliest times to the present day.

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Search the collections

Our online database contains a selection of the 12 million objects and specimens in our collections.

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New Holotype for Palaeobiology Collections

An exciting new discovery from the TW:eed Research project.

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India in our collections

Our Indian collections encompass a wide range of objects and reflect various aspects of Indian life.

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Charles Darwin's Scaly-throated earthcreeper

This earthcreeper was one of thousands of specimens collected during a voyage that Charles Darwin joined on the HMS Beagle.

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New to the National Collections

This small display highlighted a selection of the recent acquisitions at National Museums Scotland.

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Benin collections at National Museums Scotland

The 1897 invasion and looting of the west African Kingdom of Benin resulted in the sale and dispersal of thousands of artworks into European and American museums.

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National War Museum

Within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, the National War Museum tells the story of Scotland at war.

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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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JG Williams collection

The Natural Sciences department houses more than 2,000 shells, insects, bird skins and bats from the collections of the legendary naturalist John George Williams.

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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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Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

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Ancient Egyptian collection

National Museums Scotland’s Ancient Egyptian collection comprises around 6,000 items. Explore its rich treasures here.

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Classical collection

Our Classical collection unlocks a window to a ‘birthplace of civilisation’: ancient Greece and Rome.

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Ere ibeji figures

These carved wooden sculptures from West Africa represent the souls of deceased twins.

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Native American jewellery

Navajo and Pueblo jewellery from the Southwest United States is denoted by its use of turquoise and silver.

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The Kronfol Collection

Finely decorated household items of solid silver were a status symbol under the Pahlavi dynasty.

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Ancient Egypt, East Asia and Ceramics galleries

Discover our Ancient Egypt, East Asia and Ceramics galleries.

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Art, Design and Fashion galleries

These sumptuous galleries showcase the best of decorative art, design, fashion and style.

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Natural World galleries

A giant T.rex guards our Natural World galleries, where we ask the big questions: how does the world work? What do we know about it? What is our place in the universe?

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Scottish History and Archaeology galleries

Our Scotland galleries guide you from the Palaeolithic era to the present day, from the earliest cultures to space age science, prehistory to pop culture.

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World Cultures galleries

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

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Science and Technology galleries

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

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Grand Gallery, Discoveries and Window on the World

Your journey from Scotland to the world begins in the Grand Gallery, one of Scotland's most beautiful spaces.

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Kawarasaki Gonjūrō I as Hanakawado Sukeroku, from the series Thirty-six Selected Floral Parallels (Tōsei mitate sanjūrokkasen)
Japanese theatre print

This beautiful 19th century woodblock print by the acclaimed artist Utagawa Kunisada features the actor Kawarasaki Gonjūrō I.

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Netsuke

Explore our collection of wonderful miniature Japanese sculptures that served functional and aesthetic purposes.

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Japanese writing box

This 19th century writing box displays the height of the Japanese lacquer artist's skill.

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Hanging Scroll Painting

This delightful 18th-century Japanese hanging scroll celebrates the New Year.

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National Museums Scotland Appoints New Director of Collections

National Museums Scotland is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Sam Alberti as its new Director of Collections.

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Making Circles Schools Project

The Making Circles schools project invited children to be inspired by National Museums Scotland’s collections to create new Circular Economy products.

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National Museum of Flight

Wing your way to one of Scotland's top days out at East Fortune Airfield.

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Our Japanese collection

Explore highlights of our Japanese collection, from tiny netsuke to cutting edge designs, superb ceramics to Ainu artefacts.

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Screenshot from Discover Your Animal animation
Watch and listen

Explore the amazing collections of National Museums Scotland through films, animations and podcasts.

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Embroidered hanging depicting a pomegranate tree, roses and other flowers, foliage and birds: designed by May Morris, 1891.
Discovering Decorative Arts at the National Museum of Scotland

National Museums Scotland are delighted to welcome back the University of Edinburgh Short Courses – a great way to explore our collections and their wider history with experts.

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Chanté St Clair Inglis

Head of Collections Services

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