Edinburgh is home to a multitude of museums as well as five of Scotland’s National Galleries, plus a few smaller galleries making it a very cultural city.
Many of the museums and libraries within Edinburgh are also national institutions. Two of the most notable are the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland. The two are combined together and make up the National Museum of Scotland. It is dedicated to the culture, people, and history of the nation of Scotland. It is located in the central area of Edinburgh and is a part of Scotland’s National museums. Admission is free, and the museum features many collections that include antiquities and strange items from Scotland.
Another notable museum that is found in the city centre is a collection of buildings on the George IV Bridge, between the University of Edinburgh and the Old Town, is the National Library of Scotland. It is the largest deposit library the country, and is located directly on the Causewayside of the town centre.
Within the library are approximately seven million books, two million maps, and 14 million printed items. Some of the most notable pieces of the collection are the First Folio of Shakespeare, copies of the Gutenberg Bible, and a letter that Charles Darwin submitted along with his manuscript for the Origin of Species.
One of the smaller museums in Scotland is the National War Museum, which is also a member of Scotland’s National Museums. It is housed within the Edinburgh Castle and admission is part of the admission charge to tour the castle.
Other minor museums found in Edinburgh include the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Museum of Childhood. The former is the national academy of letters and science and has a wide membership of around 1400 fellows. On the other hand, the later houses a wide range of children’s toys and is found on the Royal Mile.
There are also a plethora of galleries including the National Gallery of Scotland where the National Collection of Scotland is housed. It is located on the Mound, and is also a part of the Royal Scottish Academy where there are major exhibitions of paintings that are shown on a regular basis.
The Dean Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art are home to contemporary collections that are open to the public, while the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is home to the top photography and portrait collections.
The City Arts Centre which is owned by the council of Edinburgh also offers art exhibitions on a regular basis. On the other side of the road from the Arts Centre is the Fruitmarket Gallery which features exhibitions of some of the best contemporary art by international and British artists. Within the museum are both artists that are established and those that are emerging on the art scene.
Edinburgh is also home to two of the best private galleries in the world, the Ingleby Gallery and the Doggerfisher Gallery, the former which offers plenty of exhibitions that are deemed to be of museum quality.
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