Arms & Armour: 15th Anniversary Collection Arms & Armour

Arms & Armour

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Arms & Armour: The First Fifteen Years

When the Royal Armouries opened its new museum in Leeds in April 1996 it was the first British national museum to move its headquarters from London to elsewhere in the UK. One of the opportunities this unique project took to present arms and armour to new audiences was the launch of The Royal Armouries Yearbook – a fine quality publication containing many pieces of new research giving insight into the work of this great museum.

The Yearbook was produced from 1996 to 2003, but its size and the cost of distribution were thought by the museum administration of the time to be limiting its access to the widest audiences with an interest in the subject. In 2004, therefore the Royal Armouries forged a relationship with academic publishers Maney & Co., to produce a new journal; Arms & Armour, twice a year. For many years the scholarship of its curatorial and conservation staff had earned the Royal Armouries a fine reputation and staff members were encouraged to write contributions for the new journal, but others were received too from authors from other organisations, and indeed from countries around the world. Authors included collectors of arms and armour, independent scholars, staff from other museums and university academics.

In 2015 Maney Publishing was bought out by Taylor & Francis, who wished to sustain the agreement regarding Arms & Armour, and a positive and dynamic relationship now exists between the Royal Armouries and the publishers of its most important regularly-produced academic publication.

A major benefit for the Royal Armouries of producing of its journal in association with an influential academic publisher is that material contained in Arms & Armour can be made available online, thus each article can be readily accessed anywhere in the world. This not only helps boost distribution numbers and the reputation of the journal, it stimulates authors in distant locations to consider submitting their work. Authors have the reassurance that their work will be submitted to the ‘double-blind’ peer review process used by all good academic publications.

In its fifteen years Arms & Armour has published 143 articles, 17 of which were submitted by authors outside the UK. An overview of some of the subjects covered is offered in the list below, but this can only give an idea of the importance and variety of the material contained in the 30 issues of Arms & Armour. All articles submitted must of course offer new insight into their chosen subject, and those published so far have included important research relating to weapons made for or used by important historical or military figures, to processes of manufacture for weapons as diverse as medieval Chinese crossbows and 19th century military rifles, important archaeological sites and individual finds, the collecting, display and conservation of arms and armour, the interpretation of medieval and later combat manuals, and of course the importance of interpreting the artistic representation of armour and weapons and designs and motifs contained upon them. Attention too has been paid to discussing notable international collections and to the application of scientific analysis, while book reviews and sadly too the occasional obituary have also appeared.

Arms & Armour currently has an encouraging number of fine articles awaiting publication, but its editorial team is very keen to encourage both new authors and established ones to offer pieces for publication. The good relationship enjoyed by the Royal Armouries with Taylor & Francis has encouraged both parties to look to the future of the journal, indeed it may soon expand from two to three issues each year.   

Graeme Rimer, Editor


Articles are free to read via this page only until 31 December 2018.

Arms & Armour