National Museums Scotland cares for museum collections of national and international importance, presenting and interpreting them and making them accessible to as many people as possible.
In 2016, National Museums Scotland welcomed nearly 2.7 million visitors to their four museum sites:
- the National Museum of Scotland and
- the National War Museum, both in Edinburgh,
- the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian, and
- the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride.
Scotland's national collections are a legacy which National Museums Scotland look after on behalf of everyone in Scotland. The wealth of objects in these collections represent everything from Scottish and classical archaeology to applied arts and design; from world cultures and social history to science, technology, and the natural world.
Through their exhibitions, learning programmes, events, and research, National Museums Scotland aims to explain the significance of the millions of objects in their care to a wider audience. How these collections are interpreted and how people engage with them can increase public understanding of human history and the natural environment, helping people to understand and appreciate the wonders of the world around them.
National Museums Scotland's learning programme is wide-reaching. It increases access to Scotland's national collections and brings history, science, and the arts to life through projects tailored to meet the needs and interests of diverse groups. This includes traditional museum visitors such as family groups, adult learners, and school groups, as well as those who may not be able to access culture and heritage as easily.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery support the family programme at National Museums Scotland, allowing children of all ages and their families to experience fun days of discovery with Scotland's national collections.
In February 2017, players supported the Monkey Business exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, as well as the family programme over the half term holidays. One visitor to the Monkey Business exhibition said, "Excellent and informative exhibition – really revealed the diversity of primate species. It was inspiring and motivating to help conservation efforts to help these marvellous creatures."