National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh
Lothian
EH1 1JF
Scotland

Website

www.nms.ac.uk

E-mail

info@nms.ac.uk

Telephone

0300 123 6789

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Main entrance, National Museum of Scotland c Andrew Lee
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The National Museum of Scotland is one of the Top 10 UK visitor attractions, and in the Top 20 most visited museums and galleries in the world.

Fresh from a £47m redevelopment, the museum houses a spectacular array of over 20,000 fascinating artefacts. Explore the diversity of the natural world, art and design, world culture, science and technology, and Scottish history, all under one roof.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Daily 10.00 - 17.00

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

See website for details

Come and explore the National Museum of Scotland. When did people first settle in Scotland? What are our oldest treasures? Discover some of the nation's most precious possessions alongside the everyday objects that throw light on Scotland throughout the ages.

Our collections represent astonishing diversity, from fossils showing evidence of the earliest forms of life, to the rich artefact collections representing world cultures. Material evidence of Scottish history and culture from the earliest times to the present day has been collected and preserved for the future.

You can take part in lots of activities every day at the Museum. To get the most from your visit, pick up a map and check our information screens for details of all events and activities.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Social History, Religion, Industry, Coins and Medals, Archaeology, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Costume and Textiles, Design, Fine Art, Music, World Cultures, Aviation, Decorative and Applied Art, Medicine, Natural Sciences

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

  • 17 March — 1 June 2014 *on now

Through the lens of wildlife photography this exhibition captures the intrigue and beauty of our planet.

These awe-inspiring images, selected from 43,000 entries by amateur and professional photographers in 96 countries, give us a glimpse of the natural world as it has never been seen before.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/exhibitions/wildlife_photographer_2013.aspx

Power of Ten: Inventing Logarithms

  • 28 March — 6 July 2014 *on now

Four hundred years ago, John Napier’s pioneering work on logarithms enabled more calculations to be completed in an hour than had previously been managed in an entire day.

From the introduction of the decimal point to the development of slide rules, explore how Napier’s revolutionary innovations advanced and influenced mathematics from the 17th century to the present day.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/exhibitions/power_of_ten.aspx

Scotland Creates: A Sense of Place

  • 9 May — 31 August 2014

How do we express our Sense of Place? Since 2012, young people from across Scotland have worked with staff here and at four partner museums, to explore what they felt was important about where they come from.

They chose objects from National Museum of Scotland and their local museums, for exhibitions in 2013. This final exhibition, the culmination of their project, showcases their choices and ideas, expressed through art, music, dance and films

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/exhibitions/scotland_creates.aspx

Ming: The Golden Empire

  • 27 June — 19 October 2014

Discover the extraordinary story of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), a period of China’s history marked by economic strength and a dramatic flourishing of the arts.

Meaning brilliant or bright, the Ming era represents the starting point of modern China. A collection of original artefacts from the Nanjing Museum, including Chinese National Treasures, introduce key aspects of the Ming dynasty, focussing on the remarkable cultural, technological and economic achievements of the period. This will be the only UK showing of this internationally significant exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/exhibitions/ming_the_golden_empire.aspx

Image of the 4th South African Infantry (South African Scottish)

Common Cause: Commonwealth Scots and the Great War

  • 11 July — 12 October 2014

In 1914, as the world prepared for war, thousands of men enlisted in Scotland. But thousands more Scots and those of Scottish descent joined up across the world, and the exhibition will show how they emphasised, adapted or in some cases downplayed their Scottish identities within the context of the armed forces of their home countries.

The exhibition will be built around key objects borrowed from the UK and international partners in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, some of the main destination countries of the Scottish diaspora

This exhibition is supported by the International Division, Scottish Government and is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/whats_on/everyone/first_world_war_centenary.aspx

Danie Mellor’s Primordial: SuperNaturalBayiMinyjirral

  • 1 August — 23 November 2014

Inspired by objects from National Museums Scotland’s World Cultures Collection, acclaimed contemporary Australian artist Danie Mellor presents sculpture and work on paper that explores his own indigenous and European heritage.

With works focusing on fauna, Aboriginal life and landscape, and science and exploration, alongside technical references to European art, Mellor’s work is uniquely relevant to the breadth of National Museums Scotland’s collections.

Presented by National Museums Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival. With the support of Michael Reid, Sydney, Australia.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Themed Tours

  • 18 June 2013 — 18 June 2014 *on now

In-depth tours with a different theme every day. You can see the schedule at www.nms.ac.uk/tours. Tours leave from Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

New Galleries taster tour

  • 18 June 2013 — 18 June 2014 *on now

Join A New Galleries Taster guided tours and discover some of the highlights in the new galleries

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

Hour-long tour

X-rays

Making It... at the Museum

  • 16 — 20 April 2014 *on now

Making It gives you the chance to immerse yourself in accessible technologies and discover the maker movement. And there are lots of demonstrations and things to do: from 3D printing to giant drawing machines, and from electronics to DIY biology.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/default.aspx

Cells

Ice Baby

  • 16 — 18 April 2014 *on now

Bring your little ones for sensory science story sessions inspired by our Mammoths and the Ice Age exhibition.

Free – limited spaces, sign up on the day with your adult helper.
Suitable for ages 3 and under.

Activity runs four times daily, at 10:30, 11:30, 14:30 & 15:30 (30 mins).

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Admission

Sign up on the day.

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/default.aspx

photogrpah of pigs

Farm Detectives

  • 16 April 2014 11:30am-12:30pm, 2-3pm *on now
  • 17 April 2014 11:30am-12:30pm, 2-3pm
  • 18 April 2014 11:30am-12:30pm, 2-3pm

There’s an outbreak of disease on the farm but what’s the cause and how can we stop it? Be a veterinary scientist for the day and help fellow scientists from The Roslin Institute to investigate what the disease is, where it came from and how it can be treated. Perfect for children aged 10–14. Presented by The University of Edinburgh.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
photograph of two small test tubes held in spring clamps

Meet the Medical Scientists

  • 16 — 19 April 2014 *on now

Medical scientists investigate how the human body works to find new ways to treat illness and injury. Chat with our medical scientists to discover how they help keep us healthy, and get hands-on with cutting edge science exploring the heart, brain and more. Presented by The University of Edinburgh.

Suitable for

  • Any age
photograph of Earth from space

Making Sense of Astronomy

  • 16 April 2014 8-9:30pm *on now

How can we improve communication of astronomy to the deaf community? By creating better BSL for the science, that’s how! A ground-breaking Scottish project has done just that, creating over 90 new signs; from signs for each of the planets, to signs for concepts such as black holes and red giants. Join Dr Audrey Cameron of the Scottish Sensory Centre, Gary Quinn of Heriot Watt University and Tania Johnstone of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh to find out how the signs have been developed and see the signs in action through astronomy activities. This event will be BSL interpreted.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 16-17

Admission

£8.00. Concessions £4.00 - £6.00.

photograph of people running

Faster, Higher, Stronger

  • 16 April 2014 5:30-7pm *on now

Do science and sport really mix? Can the use of technology take place on a truly level playing field? In the year of the Commonwealth Games, this audience-based debate with rugby star Scott Hastings, Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike, assistant editor at the Scotsman Donald Walker and sports journalist Graham Spiers will explore the benefits, problems and ethical questions that arise from the use of technological advances in competitive sport.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 16-17

Admission

£8.00. Concessions £4.00 - £6.00.

photograph of wind farm in Denmark

The Perfect Mix?

  • 17 April 2014 8-9:30pm

With September’s referendum drawing ever closer, there are some big questions to be asked about the future of Scotland’s energy.

What is Scotland’s perfect energy mix? Would independence help us to make the most of the nation’s renewable know-how? Could the lights stay on in a nuclear-free Scotland, and will the economics add up?

Join the panel of politicians and key thinkers for a vital debate on how Scotland plans to power its future.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£8.00. Concessions £4.00 - £6.00.

X-rays

Behind the Scenes in Science Publishing

  • 17 April 2014 5:30-7pm

Join Michael Rodgers, editor of science writing classics including Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, and author and academic Prof Peter Atkins for a behind glimpse behind the scenes of the world of science publishing. Discover the challenges of writing about science, the workings of the world of publishing and the process of collaboration between writer and editor that lies at the heart of a successful science book.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£8.00. Concessions £4.00 - £6.00.

Photograph of Chalcanthite and Gypsum

Spotlight On: Minerals and Mobile Phones

  • 17 April 2014 2-3pm

Did you know that mobile phones contain a small amount of almost all the chemical elements? Sourced from rare earth materials, their extraction and production has serious human and ecological impact. Join curator Dr Rachel Walcott and Prof Simon Harley from the University of Edinburgh to find out more.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
Photograph of apothecary bottles

Exploring Alzheimer's Disease

  • 17 April 2014 1-2pm

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, and one for which there is as yet no cure, little is currently known about its causes but we do know that Alzheimer’s Disease has far-reaching impacts on patients, their families and carers. Dr Gayle Doherty from the University of St Andrews will give an insight into recent research on the origins and ways to treat the disease while Puppetry in Dementia Care author Karrie Marshall will explain her interesting and intriguing belief in the role of creativity in caring for people with dementia.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 16-17

Admission

£5.00. Students £2.50.

Brain

The Blight of Ersatz Neuroscience

  • 18 April 2014 8-9:30pm

The ‘neuro’prefix is nowadays very fashionable. The growing interest in applying our knowledge of the human brain to different fields has resulted in the development of a number of new practices – some good, some bad, and some just crazy. Join The University of Edinburgh’s Prof Sergio della Sala as he explains how some enthusiastic scientists have over-simplified the findings from neuroscience and over-interpreted the outcome, giving rise to a number of tall tales on how the brain works.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 18+

Admission

£8.00. Concessions £4.00 - £6.00.

photograph of colourful fibers

Cosmologies, Faith and the Environmental Crisis

  • 19 April 2014 8-9:30pm

How do different cosmologies affect the way we treat the environment? Chair Dr Jeremy Kidwell of The University of Edinburgh leads speakers Dr Fazlun Khalid of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Studies and Dr Mark Harris of the School of Divinity at The University of Edinburgh in discussion with other guests as they examine how the cosmologies of the world’s religions affect human behaviour, and what this means for evidence-based science. Then have your say as he opens the discussion up to the floor and asks what you think, believe and feel.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 16-17

Admission

£8.00. Concessions £4.00 - £6.00.

Museums Lates

Museum Lates: Retro-future

  • 16 May 2014 7-10:30pm

Step back and forward in time as we take you on a steam-powered journey through our collections, from iconic designs of the past to cutting edge technology of the future.

Hosted by Radio 1’s Vic Galloway, the main stage sees DJ Lord Holyrude drop some vintage beats from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, spinning original shellac recordings on his twin gramophones, before headliner Withered Hand brings us soaring back into the 21st century with his unique blend of uplifting folk-pop-rock.

Make your own retro phone necklace in a Red Door Gallery workshop* and immerse yourself in the romance of Love in a… Museum. And of course you can expect the return of all the highlights you know and love –Silent Disco, face-painting, art installations and photo booth.

This event will be filmed for broadcast by the BBC.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£12/£10 (18+ only)

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum_of_scotland/whats_on/adults/museum_lates_retro-future.aspx

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Discover Celts and Romans at Birnie

http://www.nms.ac.uk/ironage_scotland

Explore an Iron Age power centre uncovered during archaeological digs at Birnie (North Scotland), and find out why this site was important to both the Celts and the Romans.

Discovery Zones

Get your hands on history in our Discovery Zones. Follow a Viking journey, fire a medieval catapult of dress up in 16th century style!

How to obtain

Our free Discovery Zones are located on Levels 0,
1, 3 and 5. Ask a member of staff for more information!

Robert Burns: To a Mouse Family Footprints Trail

A new museum trail for families exploring one of Burns’ famous poems through exhibits in our Scottish collections.
Available from the Info Zone Level 3 Grand Gallery Balcony or download from our website.
Supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals

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