First British record of the short-finned pilot whale 
National Museums Scotland
by Dr Andrew Kitchener
3d ago
What is the difference between the long-finned and the short-finned pilot whale? Andrew Kitchener explains how the examination of the skull of a stranded whale revealed the true identity of the species and the most northerly stranding of a short-finned pilot whale in the northeast Atlantic.   A short-finned pilot whale on the surface of the sea in the Canary Islands © Georg Hankte. Pilot whales usually occur in large pods in deep water, migrating each year back and forth along the edge of the continental shelf in the North Atlantic Ocean.  So, when a pilot whale was seen in the Milfo ..read more
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Riddle me a creepie and a cruik: Scots words for household objects
National Museums Scotland
by Oliver Taylor
3d ago
Many of our objects speak to the rich heritage of the Scots language. Whether you came to see our ‘flauchters’ or were ‘conflummixt’ by our collection of ‘creepies’ or ‘crusies’, many of these object names have a beguiling origin and unexpected uses far removed from their original purpose. In this blog post, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Scottish History & Archaeology Oliver Taylor tells us the stories behind Scots words for household objects. Black and white glass plate negative of Angus MacLellan (Aonghus Raghnaill) demonstrating the use of a flauchter spade, Morar, Glenel ..read more
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Orientations: May Morris and complex histories of queerness
National Museums Scotland
by Laurie Bassam
2w ago
In our Orientations series, members of the LGBTQIA+ community explore an object that resonates with their identity. Laurie Bassam, Assistant Curator at V&A Dundee, chose an embroidered hanging by May Morris. Laurie reflects on how hidden identities, once revealed, can offer a new context and transform our understanding of an otherwise familiar history. What do you think of when you hear “Arts and Crafts movement” or “Morris & Co”? In most people’s minds, they’re synonymous with beautiful floral wallpapers, handsome hand-crafted designs and (in a modern context) nice prints on items in ..read more
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Objects in Place: The Eildon Hills, Scottish Borders
National Museums Scotland
by David C. Weinczok
1M ago
The might of the Roman Empire is often likened to a shadow looming over the peoples along its ever-expanding frontiers. Yet, there is one place where this metaphor is inverted. As the winter sun sets behind the three peaks of the Eildon Hills in the Scottish Borders, it is the ambitions of Rome which are cast into shadow. In the second instalment of the six-part ‘Objects in Place’ series, historian, writer and Digital Media Content Producer David C. Weinczok takes you to the area around the Eildon Hills in the Scottish Borders. The landscape and treasures of the Eildon Hills and their surround ..read more
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An Edinburgh institution: Jenners in our collections and archives
National Museums Scotland
by Julie Holder
1M ago
With the approach of Christmas and festive shopping reaching a frenzy, this is the perfect time to revisit the history of an Edinburgh icon – Jenners department store. At National Museums Scotland we hold the Jenners Archive along with several objects from Jenners that have entered the museum’s collection. Join Julie Holder, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Scottish History & Archaeology, as she tells the Jenners story through our objects and archives. “Xmas Gifts at Jenners”, 1913. Jenners Archive JEN/2/6. If you live near Edinburgh, you probably have a photo of the Jenners’ C ..read more
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Confronting 200 years of Egyptological histories and legacies
National Museums Scotland
by Dr Margaret Maitland
2M ago
2022 is a landmark year in Egyptology. It’s been 200 years since the decipherment of hieroglyphs, which unlocked access to written sources from ancient Egypt, and 100 years since the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, whose splendour further fuelled global Egyptomania. Many have celebrated these milestones, but it is also an apt moment to reflect on the history of Egyptology and its colonial origins. Principal Curator Margaret Maitland does just that and explores some of the recent work we’ve been doing in this area. Ancient Egyptian objects are so ubiquitous in the UK that they’ve become a ..read more
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Weather at the Museum 
National Museums Scotland
by Rebekah Higgitt
2M ago
COP27 is currently underway in Egypt, with various nations working to tackle the global challenge of climate change. In this post, our Principal Curator of Science Rebekah Higgitt showcases our historical weather recording instruments, how they were used and what they can tell us about the changing climate. We have never been more aware of the weather. Although we’ve always been a weather-conscious nation, our increased knowledge of changes to the global climate over time gives new meaning to our experience of local conditions that may be wetter, dryer, windier or warmer than usual.  Well ..read more
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Collecting Stories: How objects came into collections
National Museums Scotland
by John Giblin
3M ago
Our new Collecting Stories gallery at the National Museum of Scotland looks the development of the National Collection and explores how and why we have acquired objects over two centuries and continue to do so today. John Giblin, Keeper of Global Arts, Cultures and Design, tells us more. There are over 12 million objects in Scotland’s National Collection, ranging across natural sciences, Scottish history and archaeology, art, design, science, technology and ancient and living cultures from around the world.    How did such a diverse range of objects come together? The collection has grown and ..read more
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Objects in Place: Kilmartin Glen, Argyll
National Museums Scotland
by David C. Weinczok
3M ago
Every part of Scotland is historic, with stories for the telling. Whether rural or urban, landscapes and communities are the ultimate source of the objects we collect and display. Yet, it is easy to be so preoccupied with the objects themselves that we lose sight of where those objects were made, used, found, and given meaning. In this, the first of a six-part blog series by historian, writer, and Digital Media content producer David C. Weinczok, we zoom out to reflect on the places beyond the glass cases. Pamela Scott’s linocut interpretation of the landscape and objects of Kilmartin Glen ..read more
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Air Personnel of Colour: Recovering their experiences in Scottish wartime aviation
National Museums Scotland
by Isobel Westbury
3M ago
A new project looks to recover and reconstruct the presence of personnel of colour within the RAF in Scotland during the two world wars. PhD researcher Isobel Westbury will explore the diversity of people connected to flying in Scotland during this period and talks us through the aims, and her hopes, for the project which she’s beginning this autumn. The traditional, and frequently told, popular narratives of the First and Second World Wars tend to downplay the contribution of Imperial and Commonwealth troops. In recent decades, extensive research has been carried out focussing on other experi ..read more
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