Sheffield was the most important producer of hand tools in the world, especially edge tools, having a workforce incredibly skilled in highly specialised light metal trades. This heritage was saved for Sheffield by the vision of Ken Hawley.  The Hawley Collection, together with the collections of Sheffield Museums Trust,  provides a valuable local history learning resource.


One part of the Gallery is reserved for our ever-changing programme of temporary exhibitions with special talks and workshops, which allows us to showcase some of the thousands of objects that are not on permanent display. See What's On for information on the latest exhibition.

Please also contact us if you would be interested in an illustrated talk on the Collection (for an agreed donation).


Families & Community Groups

Trade Information Sheets

If you would like to find out about trades and companies in your local area, or the trade carried out by one of your relatives, we may be able to help. A selection of information sheets about Sheffield trades and the tools they used are available to download from this website - click here.


Top Ten Trails

There are a variety of trails and guides in racks at the entrance to the Gallery as well as games and books, and younger members of the family can even try out DIY at our workbench!

'Top Ten Trails' are also available in the entrance to the Museum or to download (click here) and free family activities including crafts, trails and competitions also take place during some school holidays in Kelham Island Museum.



Learning opportunities are available for primary and secondary school pupils and special needs learners of all ages, some using items from the Hawley Collection.

For more information regarding education sessions, to make a booking or hire one of the loan boxes below, please contact the learning team at Sheffield Museums Trust:

Tel: 07870 254 853 (Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)


Loan Box for Early Years, Primary and Special Needs Learners in all Key Stages.

This box contains a selection of tools together with suggestions for activities and is available for loan. It is suitable for use with groups of children of all ages and abilities, and in particular those with special needs.

The box provides a valuable resource to allow children to learn about local history, forces and materials through discussion and hands-on activities. Suggested follow-up work can help children relate what they have learnt to their everyday lives, and other areas of the curriculum. The loan box has been developed with the help of a hearing impairment unit at a local primary school, a nursery school, a secondary school, and an autistic youth group. See PDF for more information.

Tools Through Time Loan Box

The loan box can be hired for a two week period or used as part of a visit to Kelham Island Museum.

Loan Box for Youth Groups and Special Needs Groups
This loan box celebrates Sheffield’s history as a world centre for tool making. Through a series of short fun activities it will allow young people to learn more about the history of their local area as well as giving them an opportunity to learn practical skills.

Click here for more details

Loan box for Adult Community Groups
This loan box for use by societies and community groups either at their own meetings, or as part of a visit to Kelham Island Museum, contains objects, photographs and activities bringing back memories of Sheffield trades.

Click here
for more details