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Various museum objects
Explore our collections

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

Lewis Chessmen Group

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

Ancient Southern European collections

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

Fan in European Styles
Search the collections

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

Ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections

National Museums Scotland’s internationally significant ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections comprise around 6,300 items. Explore its rich treasures here.

Archaeological Human Remains Collections

A series of short video presentations explore the different scientific techniques available to study archaeological collections of human remains resulting from excavations, best practice relating to sampling human remains, and the ethical debates around the appropriate management of human remains.

Collection Services

Comprising multiple specialist teams, Collections Services provides conservation, collections care, collections management, digitisation, analytical science, and library services expertise across the museum.

Caring for entomology collections

Learn the essentials of caring for entomology (insect) collections in this resource for museums and professionals.

Collections care training

This training resource focuses on the basics of caring for museum collections. It offers practical advice, shared good practice through case studies and demonstrations, and provides resources and links for further learning.

Photographing collections

Taking high quality images of your collections is important for identification, research and to monitor the condition of objects. It is also a great way to make your collections accessible to the public.

India in our collections

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


Our collection covers all the major groups of fossil invertebrates, vertebrates, plants and trace fossils.

New to the National Collections

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

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.

Brown-orange bronze armlet, shaped like a tube, decorated with bold symbols in relief.
Benin collections at National Museums Scotland

For centuries the highly skilled artists and artisans of the Edo Kingdom have produced outstanding artworks of immense cultural value in the royal city of Benin in present day Nigeria.


Our collections from Asia represent its cultural diversity. More than 50,000 items from across the continent allow an insight into artistic exchange, trade relations, imperial histories and religious beliefs.

The Mediterranean, Africa, Americas, and Oceania

Our Mediterranean, Africa, Americas and Oceania collections consist of over 35,000 objects ranging from the archaeological to the contemporary.

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.

Jean Jenkins collection

Delve into the diverse collection of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins.

Ere ibeji figures

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

Native American jewellery

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

The Kronfol Collection

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

Two people in a gallery looking up at the figure of the bodhisattva Weituo in the East Asia gallery.
Ancient Egypt, East Asia and Ceramics galleries

Discover our Ancient Egypt, East Asia and Ceramics galleries.

Five mannequins stand on a runway in our Fashion and Style Galleries featuring looks from designers.
Art, Design and Fashion galleries

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

A T.Rex skeleton stands amidst models and skeletons of other animals
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?

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.

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?

Japanese theatre print

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

Blaschka models

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

Hanging Scroll Painting

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


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

Grand Gallery, Collecting Stories and Window on the World

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

A visitor admires the Hilton of Cadboll stone, on display in Level -1 in the Early People gallery.
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.

Sporrans at the National War Museum
National War Museum

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

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.

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.

Plane on the tarmac of an airfield.
National Museum of Flight

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

Our Japanese collection

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

Ancient Mediterranean collections

Our Ancient Mediterranean archaeological collections consist of over 12,000 objects from across northern Africa, southern Europe, and western Asia.

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