The Hawley Collection 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.

This 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.

Ken Hawley

For over fifty years he collected the tools, the 'tools that made the tools', catalogues, photographs and information connected with the Sheffield tool, cutlery and silversmithing industries. During his working life, including thirty years selling tools in his own shop in Sheffield, he acquired an unrivalled knowledge about Sheffield's industrial heritage.

It was Ken Hawley's wish that the Hawley Collection stay in Sheffield to provide exhibitions, displays and information for the people of Sheffield and visitors to the city. He saw the Collection as a tribute to the craftsmanship, skills and excellence displayed over the centuries by Sheffield firms and workpeople.


The Hawley Gallery at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield opened in 2010 as the first permanent display space for the Hawley Collection.

Visit the Gallery to see the displays and exhibitions and learn more about Sheffield's industrial heritage at one of our events. You can investigate the history of Sheffield tool making by using the collection for your research. If you know something about Sheffield's toolmaking history please share your knowledge with us.

Opening Times:
Monday – Thursday 10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m., Sunday 11.00 a.m. – 4.45 p.m., Closed Friday and Saturday


It is with great sadness we have to report that Ken Hawley passed away on Friday, 15th August 2014, aged 87.

The Ken Hawley Collection Trust and our hard-working group of volunteer curators will continue their commitment to the collection in his memory.

The Trust would like to collect stories about Ken from the different people he met during his life to help us produce a social history of his life, work and achievements. If you met Ken we would like to hear about your encounter. You can download, fill in and return the encounter card below, email us for a word version of the card or email your story directly to us through our contact page - please click here. Thank you.

Encounter Card

(Cards can be returned to The Hawley Collection, Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY.)