National Museums Scotland

Items relating to sports can be found in the Departments of Scottish History and Archaeology, Science and Technology, World Cultures and Natural Sciences (there are good examples of the rocks from which curling stones are made). Archaeological to contemporary artefacts are included and cover all sporting disciplines.

There is a particular emphasis on traditional Scottish sports and games (hand ball games, stone and hammer throwing) and sports most commonly associated with Scotland (curling, football and rugby, golf, Highland games, motor-car/cycle racing, mountaineering and shinty); with strengths also in older games (archery, quoits and bowls), more ‘modern’ sports (athletics, badminton and tennis, cricket, cycling, hunting and fishing, skating and skiing) and good collections of artefacts relating to all the Commonwealth Games held in Scotland.

A balanced collection

The collection is fairly balanced across: implements; clothing; prizes; photographs; documents; and ephemera, and it is very strong in 19th century sports medals – particularly curling. In recent years collecting has been deliberately limited where national collections of sport have appeared elsewhere (eg: Golf and Football museums).

National Museums Scotland were a founding partner, with Sportscotland, of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002; a small display and artefacts relating to many of the inductees to the Hall of Fame is included in the Scottish Galleries of the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh. The Scottish Sports Hall of Fame is now run solely by Sportscotland and the displays are not therefore completely up-to-date. For more information visit the NMS website and the soon to be updated Sportscotland version.

This collection entry was last updated on 01/04/2021. Information incorrect or out-of-date?