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In March 2019, National Museums Scotland began a two-year project, funded by the John Ellerman Foundation, to review natural science collections across Scotland. Although ‘natural science’ encompasses a range of subjects, consultation with the Scottish museum sector had highlighted particular concern around the care and use of fossil collections. Other geological material with which fossils are normally associated (rocks and minerals) was also noted as requiring attention. However, as rock, mineral and fossil material across Scotland is abundant and widely dispersed it was determined that the collections review would focus on fossil material to achieve the detail necessary to identify areas in need of future work, funding and development in the subject area.