Call for papers

Japanese Warships Fire on the Enemy near Haiyangtao (Kaiyōtō fukin teikoku gunkan happō no zu), 1894, Mizuno Toshikata (1866–1908), Philadelphia Museum of Art (

XXXII Congress of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) – ICOM (UNESCO)


29 September-4 October 2024

The annual ICOMAM conference will take place at the National Army Museum, London, in October 2024. It is jointly organised and co-hosted by the Royal Armouries and the National Army Museum

‘Science, Technology and the Military’


Call for Papers (note: Deadline extended to 1 July 2024)

‘without war men would not traverse oceans in hours, travel in space, or microwave popcorn.’ – Adrian R. Lewis

As warfare has progressed from small-scale tribal conflicts to the mass mobilisation of entire societies, the reach and impact of military innovations has been profound.

Science and technology have been at the heart of the military experience through arms and armour, clothing and uniform, equipment, and other forms of material culture. Although new developments have often been driven by conflict, their impact has been felt throughout civilian societies.

Museums and collections of arms and military heritage are primary sites through which public audiences engage with these rich and complex stories.

The organisers of ICOMAM’s 2024 conference accordingly invite proposals for papers on the theme of ‘Science, Technology and the Military’.

Potential topics for papers include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How military science and technology can be displayed and interpreted to museum audiences, including through galleries, public engagement and learning programmes.
  • The challenges of reflecting current scientific and technological developments in museums, particularly in contemporary collecting.
  • National, international and transnational perspectives on military science and technology, including the relations between commercial manufacturers, defence contractors, and the military.
  • The role of military science and technology in political, economic, social, and cultural change.
  • Updates on projects, galleries and activities at ICOMAM-affiliated institutions or individuals relating to the overall themes of the conference.

Proposals for panel discussions as well as individual presentations will be considered.

We particularly welcome papers examining the adoption or adaptation of military technology among colonial or pre-colonial populations as well as by formalised militaries, and those covering topics in European and extra-European contexts.



The proceedings of the conference will be published, and all those selected to present will be expected to provide a written version of their presentation following the event. Papers should therefore be written to a standard suitable for academic publication, with appropriate referencing.



To submit a proposal, please send an abstract (maximum 220 words) and a biography (maximum 110 words) via

  • Papers should last no more than twenty minutes.
  • Papers may be delivered in English or French, with simultaneous translation provided.
  • For any questions relating to the conference or abstract submission, contact
  • Bursaries for participation are available through ICOM
  • The deadline for submissions is 1 July 2024.


The National Army Museum shares the history and heritage of soldiers and their service under the British Crown, across the globe and down the centuries. Founded in 1960, it is the custodian of a national collection of objects, equipment, artworks, and archives which reflect the history of the Army from its origins to the present day. Located in historic Chelsea, London, the National Army Museum’s mission is to engage and inspire everyone with stories of soldiers, and how their service shapes our world; past, present and future. The National Army Museum shares the history and heritage of our soldiers and their service in the Army, across the globe and down the centuries. Through our collections we explore the history of the Army from its origins to the present day. We aim to engage and inspire everyone with the stories of our soldiers and how their service shapes our world; past, present and future.

The Royal Armouries is the UK’s national collection of arms and armour, originating in 1323 from the working armoury of the English monarch. It is one of the oldest museums in the world, open to the public from 1660, and one of the largest collections of arms and armour. Its material ranges from antiquity to the present day, including the former collections of the Office of Ordnance, and the Ministry of Defence Pattern Room. It illustrates the development of arms and armour for military, sporting, presentation and other purposes, with significant examples from across the world. Today the museum operates across four sites: its headquarters in Leeds, its historic home in the Tower of London, the National Firearms Centre and its 25,000-strong collection primarily of modern firearms, and its artillery museum at Fort Nelson in Portsmouth.

The International Committee for Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) fosters the study of arms, armour, artillery, fortifications, uniforms, flags and medals and develops and maintains relations between museums and other institutions concerned with the preservation and interpretation of such artefacts. It is the only International Committee of its kind dealing comprehensively with this particular subject area in the field of museology. ICOMAM holds triennial congresses and annual symposia or conferences and organises the triennial Justus Lipsius Award for outstanding published research in the field. ICOMAM’s approach is historical, scientific and objective but always within a social context. It seeks to explore both the technical development of the material culture of its subject area and the often profound impact this has had on national and international politics and economics, society and art.