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Recognition Scheme

Recognition Scheme

Scotland’s Recognition Scheme celebrates, promotes and invests in Nationally Significant Collections beyond those held in our national museums and galleries.

Scotland currently has 50 collections that have been Recognised as Nationally Significant Collections stretching from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway. Varied and vast in the array of objects they contain, the collections reflect centuries of effort to preserve and interpret our past.

Together, they showcase the best Collections that Scotland’s museums have to offer. When thought of as a single entity, spread across the country for all to enjoy, this is a national collection of immense diversity – cultural, social, historical and geographical.

Read more about Scotland’s Recognised Collections.

Find out about the Recognition Scheme application process.

Download the Recognised Collections brand guidelines.


An evolving initiative

Our understanding of our world and our history doesn’t stand still. As our ideas of what’s important and significant evolve, so too will Scotland’s Recognised Collections. In November 2019 the Prehistoric Collection at Kilmartin Museum became the 50th collection to be recognised as Nationally Signification to Scotland.

The Recognition Scheme and Fund will also develop over time. Museums Galleries Scotland has run both on behalf of the Scottish Government since the initiative began in 2006. In 2014, we commissioned the Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund and we continue to make improvements to how we operate both.


Recognition Scheme objectives

Holding a Recognised Collection commits your organisation and your governing body to meeting the objectives of the scheme and increases the amount of funding you can apply for from our Museum Development Fund.

The Recognition Scheme objectives are:

  • to raise awareness and appreciation of the Nationally Significant Collections, maximising their potential to celebrate Scotland's culture - locally, nationally and internationally
  • to ensure the longevity of Nationally Significant Collections by raising standards in collections care and management
  • to strengthen resourcing for the long term sustainability of the Nationally Significant Collections
  • to inspire and deliver new forms of access to and public engagement with the Nationally Significant Collections
  • to support holders of Nationally Significant Collections to increase their leadership of and contribution to the sector through innovation, ambition, collaboration and partnership working

View details of the Museum Development Fund