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Architecture trail of the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is housed in magnificent buildings. Find out about its striking architectural details below, and explore them further on your next visit to our Museum.

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National Museum of Scotland

Your journey of discovery starts here.

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Tour the National Museum of Scotland on Google StreetView

The National Museum of Scotland has become the first museum or gallery in Scotland available for exploration online via Google Arts & Culture’s Museum View experience.

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The Maiden

Long before the French Revolution, the Scots had invented and were using the beheading machine known as the Maiden. It was used to execute criminals and political opponents of the crown from 1564 to 1710.

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Museum Art Challenge 2021

Looking for something creative to do this December? The Museum Art Challenge invites you to make art inspired by our incredible collections. With five weekly themes to get you thinking, you can take part from near or far simply by emailing us a picture of your finished artwork.

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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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Romans in Scotland: Trimontium Museum loan

Discover objects on loan to the new Trimontium Museum in the Scottish Borders

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Rediscovering Viking-age Scotland with Michael Wood

Acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood joined Dr Adrián Maldonado, Glenmorangie Research Fellow, to discuss Adrián’s new book, 'Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom'. The book reassesses the museum’s Viking-age collections, uncovering an exciting new vision of Scotland’s diverse and creative past.

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Chinese Oracle Bones

Visitors discovered some of the treasures within the National Museum Scotland's significant collection of oracle bones, the second largest in the world outside of China.

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People's Postcode Lottery

Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we are able to create opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life to enjoy our museums and connect with inspiring collections.

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Tartan barkcloth by José Hendo

This striking fusion of styles, traditions, and Scottish and Ugandan cultures is designer José Hendo's sustainable fashion statement for our times.

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Exchange

National Museums Scotland has been awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with the National Maritime Museum, London to enable organisations around the UK to work with community groups to explore experiences of empire, migration, and life in Britain through their collections.

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L’Éden panoramic wallpaper

Uncover the landscape of L’Éden, a set of 20 rolls of 19th-century scenic wallpaper and discover how this spectacular wallcovering has been conserved by the Museum.

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The Luxury of Time: Clocks from 1550-1750

The Luxury of Time displayed a collection of rare and significant historical timepieces telling the story of a golden age of innovation in British watch and clockmaking.

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Tour of the Kingdom of the Scots Gallery

Join curator Lydia Prosser for a guided virtual tour of our Kingdom of the Scots gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Colour photo of a combine harvester being used in the field.
Harvesting machinery of the 20th century

At the National Museum of Rural Life we have a significant collection of 20th-century harvesting machines in our large machinery store.

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See the Galloway Hoard

These unique and rare Viking-age objects lay hidden for a thousand years, but are now saved for the nation thanks to you!

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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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National Museum of Flight

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

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National Museum of Rural Life

Explore life in the countryside at our five-star museum, farmhouse and historic working farm.

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National War Museum Library

The Library is based in the National War Museum within the walls of Edinburgh Castle.

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Making the Museum

More than 10 million objects make their home at the National Museum of Scotland. Discover the secrets of our treasures with this unique five-part series.

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A history of collecting Tibet at National Museums Scotland

Discover more about the history of collecting Tibetan objects at National Museums Scotland, peaking during 1890-1930 with the Younghusband Expedition.

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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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Romans in Scotland: highlight objects

See five highlight objects that summarise the legacy of Rome's invasions of Scotland

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Scotland and the Caribbean

What do museum collections reveal about Britain’s and Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic slave system and the experiences of enslaved people?

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A glance at Scotland’s national animal

The unicorn is first mentioned in a long lost book about India about 400 BC and eventually is adopted as Scotland's national animal in the 15th century and can now be seen everywhere.

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Romans in Scotland: the Roman army

The Roman army was drawn from many corners of the vast Roman Empire

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Romans in Scotland: life on the frontier

Forts were not just military bases, they became the heart of communities

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Museum Art Challenge 2020

What inspires you in our museums? Get creative and join our month-long online art challenge at National Museums Scotland!

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Museum libraries

Our library services support the research and learning needs of Museum staff, visitors, and the wider external research community.

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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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Museum Stories with Chief Chebe

Join Chief Chebe as he takes you on two African storytelling adventures at the National Museum of Scotland.

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New to the National Collection

New to the National Collection showcased the latest additions to our collections, including objects that will feature in ten new galleries in 2016.

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Glenmorangie Research Project into Early Medieval Scotland

The Early Medieval period (around AD 300 – 900) is a very important part of Scotland’s past. Coming just after the Romans left Britain and before the arrival of the Vikings, it was a time of great creativity in Scotland.

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Clydesdale horse

Our beautiful Clydesdale horses are one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Rural Life

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The Reid family

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years.

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Scotland's Early Silver on film

Discover the story of Scotland’s early silver and how this precious metal helped to shape the first kingdoms of Scotland.

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Flying into the Future Trail

Discover how engineers are working to make air travel less damaging to the environment with this museum trail.

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Romans in Scotland: learning resources

Tools to help aid teaching and learning about the Romans in Scotland

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