The National Museum Collection Centre in Granton, Edinburgh is a treasure trove. Protecting pottery and Pictish stones, housing millions of butterflies and beetles, researching the Galloway Hoard, and repairing 11thc scientific instruments, it isn’t open every day, but tours are now encouraged if you can raise a group, and some public dates for individuals and families are being advertised.
I have had the privilege of visiting the National Museums Collection Centre twice now, and as the place was opened specifically for us, I definitely had a sense that I was party to something most other citizens don’t see. Stored in massive metal and brick boxes, the temperatures are controlled, the corridors resemble a spaceship, and one of the doors is big enough to allow a whale skeleton to be manoeuvred through. Really.
There is an ongoing and rather quiet programme of digitising, conserving, cleaning, stabilising and lending some of the 12 million items to universities and galleries around the world. The National Museums Collections Centre has a team of specialists who care for what is not currently on display in the National Museum of Rural Life (East Kilbride), and the National Museum of Flight (East Fortune in East Lothian), as well as the National Museum of Scotland in the Edinburgh’s Chambers Street. The grounds are being developed and the eco-diversity of the immediate surrounding area is being addressed where possible, while a new facility that will be more public-facing is in the pipeline.
Book via their website / eventbrite