Papers relating to the planning of the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Scope and Content

Most of the collection is contained in 6 boxes, and the contents include:

  • In Box 1 - Conceptual briefs, reports and drawings including reports on the various themes for the new museum; exhibition briefs; and, material directly relating to themes on Beginnings, the Church, Jacobites, Enlightenment, the Union, the Victorians and Edwardians, Land, Trade and Industry.
  • In Box 2 - Museum zone drawings, plans and layouts; and more material on the various themes of Trade, Industry, Commerce, Money, and the Church.
  • In Box 3 - Minutes of Project meetings; notes and diagrams.
  • In Box 4 - Museum 2nd Floor sign-off report; reviews, reports etc; and, material on the First Peoples theme
  • In Box 5 - Newspaper cutting Observer Review 8 November 1998; copy of A nation in arms Scottish United Serviecs Museum; copy of the Bute Report, Museum, 1985; copy of Museum of Scotland project; copy of Guide to NMS collections; material on acquisitions and disposal policy; various annual reports; and, report on themes, outlines of themes for the new museum.
  • In Box 7 - Items of correspondence and various annotated reports, minutes and notes. Also Project lecture material.

In addition, noted as No. 6 among the boxes, there is a report of the National Museums of Scotland, Museum of Scotland, prepared by T.B.V. Dangerfield entitled Beginnings. Phase 1 Report, November 1995.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Museum of Scotland, part of the National Museums of Scotland, was designed by the architects Benson and Forsyth. The firm had been selected as winners of an archictectural competition in 1991. The design received inspiration from Scotland's national building tradition, evoking the idea of castle, broch, tower house, and tenement. Materials used include external cladding of golden Clashach sandstone from Morayshire, and concrete, limestone, beech, and smooth plaster in the interior of the building. A roof-top garden offers views of Edinburgh Castle , Greyfriars Kirk, the Scott Monument, the city skyline generally, the sea, and the hills.

The Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, was the first national museum project in the UK since the mid-19th century and it was opened by the Queen in November 1998.

Professor Michael Lynch, Edinburgh University, was appointed as a consultant to the Exhibition Review Committee (ERC) which oversaw the planning of the building and the devising of the content.

Access Information

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

We strongly encourage you to contact us before your visit as special access conditions and restrictions apply to some collections. Please see our information on requesting material

Acquisition Information

Acquired in September 2006, Accession no: E2006.33


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using material contained in the collection.

Other Finding Aids

None prepared for this collection.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University, Special Collections.

Geographical Names