The main hall of The Royal Museum of Scotland
The Royal Museum of Scotland is a museum on Chambers Street, in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is part of the National Museums of Scotland. Admission, other than for special temporary exhibitions, is free.
The museum contains artefacts from around the world, encompassing geology, archaeology, natural history, science, technology and art. One of the more notable exhibits is Dolly the sheep, the first successful clone of a mammal from an adult cell. Other highlights include Ancient Egypt, the suspended whale skeleton and the Millennium clock.
History and Architecture
Construction was started in 1861 and proceded in phases, with some sections opening before others had even began construction. The original extent of the building was completed in 1888. It was designed by Captain Francis Fowke of Royal Engineers, who is also responsible for the Royal Albert Hall. The exterior, designed in a Veniatian Renaissance style, contrasts sharply with the light flooded main hall, inspired by The Crystal Palace.
Initially, much of it's collection came from Edinburgh University, and there is even a bridge connecting the museum to the University's Old College building. The students saw the collection as their own, and curators would often find the exhibits rearranged or even missing. The final straw came in the 1870's, when students who were holding a party found that the museum was also holding a reception for local dignitaries, and had stored refreshments in the bridge. When the museum found the refreshments missing, the bridge was bricked up the next day, as it has remained since.
Numerous extensions to the back have extended the museum greatly since then. In 1999 the Museum of Scotland extension opened.
- Royal Museum Official Site (http://www.nms.ac.uk/royal/index.asp)