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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

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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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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 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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Romans in Scotland: Trimontium Museum loan

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder

Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder will explore the science behind the global hit television series Doctor Who and give fans a chance to experience the Doctor’s adventures from a scientific perspective.

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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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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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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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Romans in Scotland: highlight objects

See five highlight objects that summarise the legacy of Rome's invasions of 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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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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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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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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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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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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Book of Hours inscribed by Mary, Queen of Scots

Delve into the pages of an exquisitely illuminated Book of Hours in which Mary, Queen of Scots, inscribed an affectionate verse in French to her great-aunt, Louise de Bourbon.

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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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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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Cover up for the Clean Room screenshot
Museum Animations

Delve into our animated adventures and explore the world around us from unique perspectives.

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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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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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Monymusk reliquary

Take a look inside one of the most treasured objects in the National Museum of Scotland.

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Visiting our museums

Discover the latest information about visiting our museums

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Romans in Scotland: major archaeological sites

Archaeological finds from Rome's invasions of Scotland can be found throughout the country, from the Solway Firth to Moray. Three of the most prominent sites are Trimontium, Traprain Law, and the Antonine Wall.

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Ruston & Hornsby No.6 steam excavator

Discover the classic Ruston steam excavator, and find out how our conservation team restored it to its former glory.

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