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Our museums were founded by people who wanted to inspire us all through remarkable collections that help to share Scotland’s stories with the world and the world’s stories with the people of Scotland.

Family in the Imagine gallery at National Museum of Scotland

Whether you enjoy regular visits to our museums, have fond memories of a childhood spent exploring Scotland’s collections or are simply passionate about the power of museums to inspire, a gift in your will, no matter how small or large, will help to preserve Scotland's national collections for generations to come. 

After you have taken care of the people closest to you, by choosing to remember National Museums Scotland with a gift, you can play a crucial role in helping our stories live on to inspire future generations and to remain an important and relevant part of people’s lives - today and long into the future. 


People from all walks of life have left gifts in their will to National Museums Scotland.

New Zealander Elizabeth McArthur moved to London to work as a teacher, and later to East Lothian with her husband to retire. They regularly visited the National Museum of Scotland; when Elizabeth passed away she left a gift in her will to National Museums Scotland and also asked for any funeral donations to be gifted to the museum. When Elizabeth’s family told us she had an interest in Chinese ceramics, we put her generous donation to a suitable use: contributing to new ceramics displays in our Exploring East Asia gallery. 

Born in Airdrie and educated in Glasgow, George McNeil spent most of his life in Edinburgh and proudly took visitors to sights including the National Museum of Scotland. As a proud Scot and a teacher, he had a great knowledge of Scottish history and always understood the importance of both family and national history to the cultural inheritance of the country. Inspired by the museum's collections, he wanted to leave a gift in his will so that future generations could enjoy the museum throughout their lives just as he had. 

Engineer Ian Fleming had a varied career in the agricultural sector which took him all over Scotland. He was passionate about engaging younger generations with Scotland’s agricultural heritage and loved visiting the National Museum of Rural Life. He and his wife Margaret left a generous gift to the museum in their wills which helped to fund three-year programme of improvements. Today, visitors can continue to learn about Scotland’s landscape and all that it gives us, thanks to Ian and Margaret’s gift.

Edinburgh local Norma Drummond visited the National Museum of Scotland throughout her life. She witnessed the museum change over the years and saw first-hand the latest 15-year redevelopment of the Victorian building into a space that all generations could enjoy. Her favourite place was the new Fashion & Style gallery which opened in 2016. Inspired by the museum's redevelopment, she wanted to leave a gift in her will so that future generations could enjoy the museum throughout their lives just as she had. 

These are just a few of the generous individuals who have enabled us to continue to inspire future generations through the remarkable objects and stories in our collections. You too can help our stories live on.

How to leave a gift in your will

When making or updating your will we strongly recommend that you consult a solicitor to ensure it is legally valid and reflects your intentions. The following wording can be adapted by your solicitor to suit the type of gift you wish to leave: 

I give, devise and bequeath to National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust (Charity No: SC006964) of Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF

the sum of £xxx (xxx pounds)  


the whole (or xxx% share) of my residuary estate  


[insert details of a specific gift] to hold on trust for its general charitable purposes, and I declare receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge. 

An unrestricted bequest is always the most helpful; however if you are considering directing your gift to a particular site or area of our work we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans with you before you commit them to a will, to ensure we can meet your wishes.  

If you are interested in donating a specific object to our collection we would invite you to complete our Object Donation Form

For more advice, see our FAQs.

Letting us know

If you decide to include National Museums Scotland in your will, please let us know. This will give us the opportunity to thank you and show you how your gift will make a difference.

To find out more, to discuss your gift in more detail, or to explore leaving a gift in memory of a loved one, please contact Aimee Hooper, Development Manager on 0131 247 4191 or

Thank you for considering supporting us in this special way.

Contact us

Aimee Hooper
Development Manager
0131 247 4191

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