Museum Collections Centre
Free Entry | Donations Welcome
The Museums Collections Centre is an amazing treasure trove of objects spanning a wide range of subjects.
Visitors taking one of our tours can view the reserve collections of the social history, Museum of Childhood and applied art collections. These items are not currently on display in the museum venues, and are held in store so that they can be accessed for research, lent to other museums for exhibitions, or used in our own temporary exhibition programme. Objects at the Collections Centre range from dolls' houses to wartime cooking, 18th century water pipes to teapots, and pantomime costumes to 2000 Queen Victoria clay pipes!
Tours of the Collections Centre will take you around the store where you will see some of the fascinating objects on open storage and find out about how the store and collections work. See the Opening Times for more information.
Researchers wanting to access specific parts of the collection can also call us on 0131 556 9536 or email MuseumCollectionsCentre@edinburgh.gov.uk to make arrangements for a visit.
Find out more about the behind the scenes work going on at the Museum Collections Centre on our Reekie Untold blog.
Some groups of objects relate to communities such as Leith or Newhaven, who had quite specific local trades, or to businesses which once thrived along the coast, but have long since disappeared.
Together, these varied collections tell us so much about the lives of local people from the past.
Scottish manufacturing may be of specialist interest, but within Edinburgh it produced, among other things, items in pottery or glass which combine function and beauty and which are truly stunning to look at. There is something for everyone in the childhood section, from dolls houses, prams, bicycles and train sets.
All the objects have stories to tell us - who made them, who used them and what they were for, and taking a tour will open new windows into the past. Although the Centre is primarily a storage and research facility (and therefore many items are boxed for conservation purposes, or are stored in cabinets and racks), there is still much on open display to see.
Download our comprehensive access guide to find out how you can get to and around the Museum Collection Centre.