Historic Documents and Plans

The Trust holds a large number of historic documents, which mostly originate from a number of Sheffield companies.

They form a significant collection as they represent important firms such as Hadfield's, Firth Brown's and Daniel Doncaster's. They record the development of manufacturing industries, which were important in the development of trade and technology on an international scale.

The collection is well represented in the area of heavy industries such as steel, armaments, and shipbuilding as well as in the development of specialist steels such as stainless steel. Of particular note is the Hadfield company archive which provides valuable background to the development and usage of specialist alloyed steels.

The Trust also holds historic documents relating to influential people in the history of technological development, such as Henry Bessemer (mass steel production), Robert Hadfield (scientific and technical research into steels), W H Hatfield (scientific and technical research into steels) and Harry Brearley (the inventor of stainless steel).

The general documents collected from a variety of sources are of a diverse nature and include images and newspapers relating to working conditions, certificates and documents relating to work (e.g. apprenticeship certificates, union cards, work rules, etc.), postcards, advertising ephemera and so forth.

The Documents Collection consists of around 18,000 items such as letters, ledgers and account books. A large proportion is from Sheffield based firms. The Plans and Technical drawings collection consists of over 25,000 drawings of various sites and company works in Sheffield as well as technical drawings for important objects, including armaments and motor vehicles.

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