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Jonathan Ferguson

Jonathan Ferguson is Keeper of Firearms & Artillery, based at the National Firearms Centre in Leeds.

Having completed a first degree in Archaeology (BA, Exeter 1997-2000), Jonathan began his museum career as a volunteer at Coldharbour Mill Museum in Devon and received his postgraduate diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester in 2002. Before joining the Armouries in 2009, he held posts at Colchester Museum, Imperial War Museum Duxford and the National War Museum of Scotland. His research interests include the use and effect of firearms (both historic and contemporary), their popular perception, mythology, and their depiction in mass media. Jonathan Ferguson is a member of the editorial advisory board for Arms and Armour and British Journal of Military History.

Jonathan curated the 2008 exhibition ‘Call to Arms’ at the National Museum of Scotland and was lead curator on the Royal Armouries’ First World War exhibition ‘Bullets, Blades and Battle Bowlers’ in 2014. He has presented at several conferences, including ‘Firearms and the Common Law Tradition’, co-chaired by Wesleyan University and the Smithsonian Institution (2016). Jonathan Ferguson has also made various media appearances, including the BBC4 documentary series ‘Sword, Musket & Machine Gun’ (2017) and the History Channel’s ‘Sean Bean’s Waterloo’ (2015).

Recent Publications

  • ‘You Never Drempt of a Poysoned Bullet’, 2017 (forthcoming).
  • Small Arms Identification Handbook (for Small Arms Survey), 2017 (forthcoming).
  • ‘The Mauser C96 Pistol’ (working title), Osprey book, 2017 (forthcoming).
  • ‘The Arms and Armour of the First World War’. Royal Armouries, 2017, with Jonathan Ferguson & Henry Yallop.
  • ‘“Trusty Bess”: the Definitive Origins and History of the term “Brown Bess”’, article for Arms & Armour, Volume 14.1, 2017.
  • ‘NSV and Kord Machine Guns’, Small Arms Defense Journal, Vol.8, No.2, 2016, p.22-24.
  • ‘The Raven Gun’, short article for The Field magazine, 2015.
  • ‘The Danzig Gun: A Rare Decorated Bronze Handgun of the 15th Century’, article for Arms & Armour, Volume 12, Issue 2, 2015.
  • ‘Conventional Arms Baseline Assessment: the Islamic State, Iraqi Shi’a militias, and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. Unpublished background paper with Paul Holtom (Jenzen
  • Jones & Smallwood, eds.). *Perth: Armament Research Services (ARES), 2015.
  • ‘Raising Red Flags: An Examination of Arms & Munitions in the Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine’ report, with N.R. Jenzen-Jones, 2014.
  • ‘The Blanch-Chevallier Discharger: A Shoulder-Fired Grenade Launcher for the Trenches’. Arms & Armour, Vol.11 No.2 2014.
  • ‘How to Kill a Vampire’, full-length article for ‘The Field’, October 2014.‘Matchlocks from the Royal Armouries’, book (with Thom Richardson), Royal Armouries, 2012.
  • ‘To Kill a Vampire’, article for Fortean Times, issue 288, 2012.
  • ‘Lochailort, Highland: Archaeological Metal Detecting Survey, Post-Excavation Archive Report’, CFA Archaeology Report No. 1932. Chapter 2. The small arms-related assemblage, by Jonathan Ferguson pp.4-9, 2011.