Honorary Historical Consultants
The Royal Armouries has always been fortunate in being able to call upon the goodwill and support of many outstanding authorities on a wide variety of subjects to support it in its many activities.
In 2008, as the major Henry VIII commemorative exhibition and companion publication were in active preparation it was felt that perhaps it was time to recognize the value of the contributions which acknowledged specialists gave to the Royal Armouries. The idea was proposed to inaugurate the position of Honorary Historical Consultant (HHC).
This idea was put to the Knowledge Development Committee, (now the Research and Education Committee) a Royal Armouries Trustee sub-committee chaired by Professor Richard Holmes, which approved the proposal and put it to the next full Board meeting, where it met with unanimous approval. Subsequently a number of individuals have been identified as providing valuable support for the Royal Armouries and have been appointed Honorary Historical Consultants. The Board of Trustees has stated that it wishes to have only a small number of HHCs at any time, making this distinction a rare and prestigious one.
In February 2009 the Board of Trustees accepted the following summary of the functions of an HHC:
- To be a recognized international authority on an aspect of arms and armour or related subjects.
- To be willing to act on an unsalaried basis to support the Royal Armouries by providing information and advice in chosen subject areas at the request of the Director General, Academic Director or other senior member of the collections related staff. This advice may relate to several areas of operation of the Royal Armouries, for example; publications, displays, exhibitions or acquisitions.
- To support in particular the Royal Armouries publications programme by active contributions through writing or to advise, when asked to comment, upon works written by or for the Royal Armouries on subjects relating to their area of expertise.
- There will be no fixed number of HHCs but it is recognized that the total number will always be small. Currently the Board of Trustees wishes to have no fewer than five and no more than ten HHCs. Each will be recommended as a suitable candidate becomes apparent to the Master of the Armouries or other senior collections related staff.
- The appointment of HHC will be for period of five years, with an option to renew by mutual assent.
Kelly De Vries is professor of history at Loyola University Maryland.
Donald E. Graves is the author, co-author or editor of sixteen books on military and naval history subjects.
Bill Harriman is a writer and broadcaster whose interest in firearms and other weapons stems from the time when he built kits of guns as a boy.
David Penn is former Keeper of Exhibits & Firearms at the Imperial War Museum and is now a consultant.
John Waller has spent a lifetime studying arms and armour and is a world authority on historic combat.
Reverend Paul Wilcock is Head of the Arms and Armour Research Group at the University of Huddersfield.
Professor David Williams of Loughborough University is recognised internationally for his expertise in manufacturing technology.