Tiny beetle and huge sperm whale skull star in new National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh

By Culture24 Reporter | 10 August 2015

National Museums Scotland's new state-of-the-art National Museums Collection Centre opens in Edinburgh

A photo of a curator looking at an object inside National Museums Scotland's National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh
© Neil Hanna
The new three-storey National Museums Collection Centre is the home of nearly ten million objects. They range in size from a beetle measuring less than a millimetre (the Nephanes Titan beetle) to the 5.2 metre-long skull of a sperm whale.

A photo of a curator looking at an object inside National Museums Scotland's National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh
© Neil Hanna
The oldest object is a 4.5 billion year-old meteorite. The heaviest is a Roman tombstone found at Carberry, East Lothian during the late 1990s, weighing more than 360 kilograms.

A photo of a curator looking at an object inside National Museums Scotland's National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh
© Neil Hanna
The centre stands nearly 50 feet and has a floor area of around 6,000 square metres. Open to researchers by appointment, the West Granton site was bought in 1944 by the Ministry of Labour to establish a training centre for ex-servicemen to learn building and trades skills. The site was gradually developed over the next few years.

A photo of a curator looking at an object inside National Museums Scotland's National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh
© Neil Hanna
The site was permanently acquired by National Museums Scotland in 1992 and has been the subject of ongoing improvement since.

A photo of a curator looking at an object inside National Museums Scotland's National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh
© Neil Hanna
Conservation experts at the centre are working through 3,000 items which are due to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland from next summer. They will feature in ten new galleries devoted to applied arts, design, fashion, science and technology, from a 1.5-tonne copper cavity from CERN to an entire wall from the famous Hamilton Palace.


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Three museums to discover Scottish history in:

National Museum of Rural Life Scotland, East Kilbride
Tour a period farmhouse for a sense of what living on a farm was really like more than 50 years ago, and discover how 300 years of farming and rural home life have shaped and altered Scotland’s countryside in the museum.

Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine
Scotland's influence on the maritime history of the world from the 18th century to the modern day has been enormous and out of all proportion to the size of the Country. These two sites contain exhibitions and collections telling the story of that great maritime tradition.

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh
Climb the 72 steps up the first lighthouse in Scotland. The view from the top, accross the Moray Firth, is spectacular.
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