Laura Bell

Director of Collections

Laura studied Archaeology at the University of Nottingham and graduated with a BA (Hons). During her degree Laura took up a position at the University’s Museum as Collections Assistant. After this, Laura worked as a Field Archaeologist for the University of Sheffield in Pompeii and at York Archaeological Trust, Laura also worked during the holidays as a Museum Guide at York Museums Trust. As a result of this experience in museums, Laura went on to study Museum Studies at the University of Newcastle and graduated with a MA in 2009.

Following her MA, Laura took up a full time position at York Archaeological Trust as Research and Collections Officer, processing and cataloguing finds, condition reporting, researching, and curating exhibitions. During this time, Laura worked on numerous projects and exhibitions including Yorvik Phase II.

Laura went on to take up a position at the National Museums Scotland as Collections Care Project Officer in 2010, working on the £50 million capital project to refurbish the Royal Museum and re-install approximately 1 million objects. Laura worked on collections management aspects in the project, including transportation, packing, handling, preventative conservation, install, and separate storage projects in Granton and Leith.

After the Royal Museum opening Laura took a job in Egypt working with Dr Zahi Hawass, but unfortunately just before Laura was due to leave the Egyptian Uprising took place and therefore Laura had to pull out. A week later Laura accepted the position of Royal Armouries Assistant Registrar. Laura has worked at the Royal Armouries ever since, and was promoted to Registrar in 2013. As Registrar, Laura is involved in all aspects of collections management, and now manages the Display Technicians. As an interim measure in 2015 Laura also managed the Conservation Department.

Having developed an interest for firearms and the law surrounding their use in museums, Laura studied Art Law and Ethics at the Institute of Art and Law in London and graduated in 2014. Laura has become particularly interested in firearms law and weapons management generally and is often the go-to person for firearms collections management issues. Laura is currently writing a book on the subject.

Laura has also sat on a few committees and working groups in the sector, such as Corporate and Development Officer for the UK Registrar’s Group 2013-2015, and is currently sitting on the SPECTRUM documentation working group.

Laura was appointed Interim Director of Collections in October 2017.

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