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Lisa Traynor

Lisa Traynor is Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Lisa began her museum career as a volunteer at Museums Sheffield, working with the Flood Recovery Officer to rescue, rationalise, and conserve the collection after the devastating floods of 2007. As well as working full time at the National Trust, Lisa Traynor studied for her degree in History, Heritage and Museum Studies at the University of Huddersfield between 2006 and 2011, following which she received an internship with Leeds Galleries and Museums at Temple Newsam in 2009.

In 2010 she co-curated a travelling exhibition named ‘Out of the Shadows’, focusing on the History of Mental Health within the West Riding in collaboration with Thackray Medical Museum and West Yorkshire Archives. After graduating in 2011 she worked at Lancaster Castle as a guide whilst also producing original research for the castles lecture series.

In 2012 Lisa Traynor joined the Royal Armouries, as a member of the Visitor Experience Department devising talks for visitors on the history of firearms and the different conflicts in which they were used. She then became the Firearms Documentation Assistant in December 2012, focusing on documenting the former Pattern Room Collection.

Lisa took up the post of First World War Researcher at the Royal Armouries in December 2013. Alongside her two colleagues she co-curated ‘Bullets, Blades and Battle Bowlers’ an exhibition telling the story of the rise of weapon technology during the First World War. Whilst working on this exhibition she co-authored the First World War online, writing digital entries on the development and use of the wars most iconic weapons.

In September 2014 Lisa took up the post of Assistant Curator (Firearms), during which she co-curated the temporary exhibition ‘Waterloo the Art of Battle’ and the permanent exhibition ‘The Battle of Waterloo’ at the Royal Armouries. Alongside this she co-wrote ‘The Battle of Waterloo’ which features in the Royal Armouries Collections online.

In April 2017 Lisa Traynor became Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, and finished her research into inventor Casimir Zeglen’s silk bullet-proof vests in connection with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This research has been presented at the ICOHTEC International Conference for the History of Technology, Brasov Romania in 2014, and at Heritage Theory & Practice, Leeds City Museum, in 2016, and featured on the BBC Four series ‘Sword, Musket and Machine Gun: Britain’s Armed History.’ Her book Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Era of Assassination was published in November 2018. She is currently exploring the weapons, motives, opportunity and reactions to European assassinations 1849-1914.


Digital outputs

Conference papers & lectures

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