Frances Palmer, Honorary Research Fellow, was Curator of the Museum of the Royal Academy of Music from 1999 to 2011 and Keeper of Musical Instruments at the Horniman Museum from 1978 to 1999.

She is professionally interested in the design, function and performance of musical instruments of all types and cultures.

Research interests include musical instruments from the reign of Henry VIII, musical gadgeteers like John Joseph Merlin (1735–1803), musical technology of the 1830s and the design and use of electronic and electronically amplified instruments.