Day 10: Scottish National Museum

Day 9: Edinburgh Castle and Royal Botanic Garden
October 3, 2016
Day 11: Findhorn Eco-Village
October 5, 2016

Day 10: Scottish National Museum

Group 1 Summary: Tuesday, 4th October

At 10.00 in the morning, the group visited the National Museum of Scotland and had a tour of the museum with Edward Duvall who explained the history of the museum and some of the key collections in the museum, about history of Scotland, cultures from some nations in the world, natural sciences, outer space, art and fashion, and modern technology. Discussion between Edward and the group added some information that outreached the programme such as learning and volunteering which is part of their public engagement strategy.

From the exhibitions, we learnt that the collection itself is not enough to deliver message to the public, the interior design (lighting, colors, room ambiance, architecture) and interpreter technique of guides and interactive games have big contribution in connecting people to the collection, the message, and beyond. The exhibition was designed thematically to facilitate public focus and interest of specific fields, which required many aspects from design, planning, management, and collection knowledge.

In the afternoon, the group traveled to Inverness by train, which took 3.5 hours.


Group 2 Summary: Fieldwork to National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

The National Museum of Scotland was established in 2006, it was merged from Museum of Scotland and Royal Museum. The Museum of Scotland is a modern building opened in 1998 whilst the Royal Museum was built in 1816. The National Museum incorporates the collections of the former National Museum of Antiques of Scotland and the Royal Museum. The Collections now cover science and technology, natural history and world cultures.

The museum underwent major refurbishment, there are about 16 new galleries reopened which include national collections of Scottish archaeological findings and medieval objects. Some highlight collections that we learnt are Kingdom of the Scots 900s – late 1600s, natural history, Discoveries, world culture, Dolly the sheep etc.


Learning process from this visits are:

  • How to provide good exhibition with good interpretation not only from the display but also from building and the floor
  • Turning science into information for public engagement
  • Thematic, innovative and attractive displays
  • Well trained guide
  • Partnership with other institutions or private sectors

Group 3 Summary: National Museum Scotland

Guide: Andrew Burns

Today we visited The National Museum of Scotland which is located in the centre of the city. The building is 7-floor high and inspired by the Christoph Palace. The combination of traditional and modern Scottish designs became the characteristic of the museum. It is Victorian building in Scotland which contains 7 galleries such as Animal Gallery, World Culture Gallery, Scientific Gallery, Scottish Gallery, and Industry Gallery. Those have a magnificent display that placed in wide. Each gallery has a certain story. The facilities inside are including general information, research library, cafe and shop area. In the middle of the hall there is a huge fish bowl that looks like a canoe that was made in 1916. It is made from secret wood by Polynesian to thank god. The guide took us to each gallery and told some story.
1. Animal Gallery. There are 3 levels for the Animal gallery. The animal display sizes are similar as the original size. The oldest display is an elephant that set since 1904. While the newest is a Dinosaur T-rex bone in 2010. It is the second largest in the world and 85% complex.
2. World Culture Gallery. It has an interactive display called Pray Wheels which is exotic of the local. People may touch this display directly.
3. Industry Gallery. There are several displays, one of them is fashion gallery. There is an extreme gown made from silk in 1715. It spent £5000 to make this 2,5 m wide-skirt gown. Only the aristocrats have ever worn it. The gown is very heavy because its supporting inside is made from wood.
4. Scientific Gallery. There is the famous Dolly the sheep. The Rosaline Institute gave it to the museum in 2003. She is the first clone animal from adult cell that died at the age of 6.5 years. During her lifetime, she suffered from several illnesses such as cough (lung disease).
5. Scottish Gallery. The entrance of this gallery represents the castle. On the gallery, there are 5 chess pieces of walrus ivory which were found in the north east of Scotland in 1831, near the shore in Uig, Lewis. The most famous is the cast of Mary Queen of Scots that was made after her death. Mary has motto “In my end is my beginning”. It symbolizes the eternity of life after death. Near the cast of Mary, there is a treasure case which has complicated key mechanism. It has a concealed key hole and whole are made from compact metal.

Group 4 Summary: Visit to National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

10.00 – 12.45

Today’s visit was to the National Museum of Scotland. The tour was split into two groups. Edward Duvall guided the first group, while Andrew Burns guided the other group.  Because of the limited time, we could not visit all parts of the museum. Edward and Andrew showed us the most valuable and specific collections of the museum. They are located in several parts of the museum, such as discoveries  gallery, natural world gallery, wolrd cultures, arts, design and fashion, and science and technology.

National Museum of Scotland consists of two main buildings, the old and the new one. The museum has been improved many times since it was first opened in 1877. The design and architecture of the museum building are attractive.  One of the latest improvements of the museum is the design of the wall in the backside which has many collections displayed on it. The segmentation of the museum varies from pre-school age up to senior age. In almost every collection displayed, there are always interactive media for the visitors.

The museum has a special gallery about Scotland, which explores Scotland’s history across the ages through real objects found, made and used in Scotland.  The museum also has a learning center with inspiring activities for all ages, and a research library.  The museum becomes more beneficial, because it has a learning center and a research library.

The collections are in part the legacy of Scottish men and women who served as diplomats, soldier and missionaries, or who travelled the world as adventurers and explorers. They also reveal the endeavours of Scots as inventors and innovators.


Group 5 Summary: October 4th 2016 – National Museum of Scotland

We visited the National Museum of Scotland at Edinburgh. The museum opens daily  at 10.00-17.00, free of charge for all visitors. The National Museum of Scotland is one of the leading museum organization in Europe.  The museum has connections with Edinburgh Castle so they have  millions of visitors each year.  The National Museum of Scotland  has 9 sections of the amazing collection to exploring. The sections are Discoveries; Natural World; World Cultures; Art, Design and Fashion; Science and Technology;  Scotland; Learning Center; Exhibition Galleries and Research Library.

Discoveries. In this part, we can discover some of Scotland’s greatest achievements and the enormous impact of Scotland around the world. We also saw collection of when Darwin came to Scotland. The pictures were organized very well and were good looking, so we knew what they were contribute to the world.


Natural world.  We can explore the Natural world with enthusiastically. The collection has some creative, educative and informative displays. When we enter this section we can see some amazing collections. They are tyrant lizard king, biggest birds, animals living in extreme environments, how the animal are moving, life cycle of the animal, strategies for reproduction, weapon and defence, feeding and eating animal, behavior of animal, illustration of animal’s size and othes amazing  collection .
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World Cultures.  Remarkable objects that reveal how people lived their lives and expressed themselves through art, music and performance.

Art, Design and fashion.  We get information about design and how they are  making the fashion. The collection also describes the fashion in the past and now.

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Science and technology. A world of innovation is illuminated through the scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs which changed Scotland and the world. The great discoveries is cloning of the sheep: Dolly is the one of famous sheep in the world, that was cloned from an adult cell in 1996.



Scotland. Explore Scotland’s history the ages through real objects found, made and used in Scotland.

Learning Center. The section will  making the  inspiring activities for all ages

Exhibition galleries. The section will give information what the current special Exhibition


Research Library. The Museum has research library, if we are interesting the collection we can accses on level 3 of these building.

The interesting Programme of the Museum

  1. The Museum has programmes for children and schools
  2. The Museum is full of interactive displays and hands-on activities.
  3. The museum also has shops and restaurant around these buildings for families to enjoy these facilities and full of fun.