Enquiries and Research

Hundreds of people contact us with requests for information and the Trust is pleased to help as much as it can.

Non-Commercial Purposes

Enquiries for personal use, academic research and educational purposes, unless of an extensive nature, are normally dealt with free of charge. However, as a charitable trust we would appreciate a donation to enable our volunteer curators to continue to preserve the knowledge of the collection and maintain and develop it for future generations.

In general for copies and scans of collection material we ask:

Donations can be made through local giving.com - click below - or by cheque payable to the Ken Hawley Collection Trust.

For enquiries requiring more in depth research and volunteer time a reasonable fee will need to be agreed in advance.

For Commercial Purposes

There is a charge for the use of Hawley Collection material for commercial purposes, e.g. reproduction or publication of images, filming, visits and associated research.  In general, these charges are as follows, but each request will be dealt with on a case by case basis: £10 per digital image, £100 for commercial reproduction, £120 per day for extended research etc. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

For all commercial use we request at least one copy of the final publication or film and acknowledgement as follows: Courtesy of the Ken Hawley Collection Trust.

The Hawley Collection has no paid staff and relies on the work of Trustees and volunteer curators but any enquiries will be dealt with as promptly as possible.

The Ken Hawley Collection Trust

c/o Kelham Island Museum
Alma Street
South Yorkshire
S3 8RY.

Telephone: + 44 (0)114 201 0770
email : click here


Please note we are unable to give object valuations.




The dedicated Hawley volunteers are maintaining and expanding Ken Hawley's work with research into specific tool groups, companies or trades. Often, the volunteers bring with them a specialist working knowledge that they can share.

Wooden plane manufacture

Some of the research volunteers are investigating wooden plane manufacture at William Marples (Sheffield) and the identification of individual plane-hands (i.e. the men who actually made the planes).

Albert Bock, who retired in 1966 and was the last wooden plane maker at William Marples.


Precision measuring tools

Other research volunteers are looking into the history of the design, development and manufacture of engineering precision measuring tools particularly tools such as micrometers and vernier callipers & gauges and associated developments in interchangeable manufacturing. Of particular local interest are the three Sheffield companies of Moore and Wright (Sheffield) Limited, James Chesterman and Co Ltd and Ambrose Shardlow and Co Ltd who all produced precision measuring tools.

Chesterman Catalogue, 1883

Can you help?
If you have specialist knowledge, are interested in helping with the current research or would like to develop some research of your own, then please do contact the Trust to arrange to visit and discuss how you could help. Contact us.




Over the years, Ken Hawley gathered a great deal of knowledge and information about the Sheffield tool making and cutlery industries. He had an enquiring mind and an interest in understanding how and why things were made.

Ken was also privileged to meet and talk to many people who worked in these Sheffield industries. He was grateful to all these people for their assistance in building this knowledge and understanding.

In order to record this wealth of knowledge, we encouraged Ken to jot down the information as it came to mind. The result is lots of written notes, some of which have been scanned and transcribed.  These pages are not formal productions and cover many different subjects, but they do provide an insight into how knowledge of the Collection grows.

The Hawley Collection has also been used for many research projects, some of the larger scale projects are detailed below.


Precision Instruments in the Hawley Collection, by Dr Victoria Beauchamp - Sponsored by Mitutoyo (UK) Ltd, 1997.
The precision instruments form a small but important group within the Hawley Collection. Included in this collection are the micrometers, vernier calipers, height gauges and measuring machines.

In total, the project looked at 224 micrometers from over 40 firms. The main firms represented in the collection are Moore and Wright, Shardlow, Starrett and Brown and Sharpe, although there other micrometers by firms such as Mitutoyo, Slocomb, Carl Mahr and Zeiss, The Coventry Gauge Tool Company, Humpage, Jacques and Pedersen and many foreign examples for which no manufacturer can be identified.

There are a number of specials, not listed in catalogues and display models such as Acc.No.2020, a Moore and Wright 961, with cutaway barrel and thimble.

In addition to the artefacts there is the Moore and Wright archive material which consists of competitors advertising, production methods, minutes of boardroom meetings and some technical drawings. There are also the catalogues of many of the firms mentioned above which can be used to assess the scope of the collection in terms of the variety of patterns produced.

The Story of Addis by Dr Joan Unwin, Research Associate, The Hawley Collection, 1997-2007

Over the years, the Hawley Collection has received a number of enquiries relating to S.J. and J.B. Addis, makers of woodcarving tools, and a quick search in Google shows the level of interest (and erroneous information) about them. Their tools have a special place in collectors’ minds and the lack of a published biography leads to a series of anecdotes about the lives of the various members of this family. The Hawley Collection has miscellaneous notes and the information in them has been judiciously included here. This survey of some of the available resources has been undertaken in order to identify the bones of the stories of Addis. It has also been a useful exercise in demonstrating the potential for detailed research at the Hawley Collection into a very specific aspect of the history of the Sheffield tool industries.

University Dissertations

The importance of the Collection as an educational resource is demonstrated by the number of undergraduate and post-graduate students who have used the Collection to develop their own research areas.

To date, the Collection has provided material for study into:

Copies of the full reports of these projects and other research projects are available for consultation by appointment.  Please contact the Hawley Collection to arrange your visit.