Ken Hawley

Ken Hawley with a knife from the Collection (Photo by Simon Barley)

The Hawley Collection, with which TATHS enjoys a special relationship, is an internationally important material record of tool making, cutlery manufacture and silversmithing from Sheffield, together with complementary material from Britain and the rest of the world.

The collection is unique in that it combines finished artefacts and work in progress to illustrate how things were made. Together with published catalogues, archival material, pictures, photographs, tapes and films, it records the development of many of Sheffield's manufacturing processes and products and the skills of the workpeople involved.

The collection of over 100,000 items was assembled over his lifetime by the late Ken Hawley, a tool retailer in Sheffield, and is now owned by the Ken Hawley Collection Trust and housed in Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield. Ken was a founder member of TATHS and President until his death in 2014. He was an enthusiastic and respected member of the TATHS Northern Group.

Visitors are able to

• look at tools on show;
• by appointment, study the vast number specimens not on show;
• study catalogue and archive materials setting the wider context.

Although TATHS and the Hawley are independent of one another, we recognise that we share common interests. To develop ways of working together we have arranged that a nominated individual is a Trustee, and sits on the management committee, of each body.

The Hawley Collection is an extraordinary facility, and members are encouraged to visit it if ever in the area. We'd also encourage members to make a donation towards the work of the collection; they can do this by accessing the Hawley website and clicking on the DONATE button.

To learn more about Ken Hawley and his collection, watch the videos here and read his obituary here.

If you have specialist knowledge of tools and feel you could help answer questions that they receive, please read this note and see if you could volunteer your services.