Historic Photographs, Pictures and Film Collection

The Trust holds a large and comprehensive collection of photographic material including prints, negatives and glass slides. There is also a collection of film.

Many companies recorded all aspects of their work and the products made. The resulting collection is therefore of great importance in providing an extensive record of those industries.

The photographic evidence is in some cases the only evidence that is collectable due to the size and scale of the heavy industries. The images also provide an insight into the scientific and technological research that was being undertaken at these firms in both laboratory depictions and images of microscopic investigations into materials. Images are often requested by researchers and have been used in various publications, television programmes and within museum exhibitions.

Although it was fairly unusual for artists to represent industry within their work, the Trust holds a small collection of prints, drawings and paintings relating specifically to Sheffield industries and industrialists.

The photographic material originates mostly from various Sheffield companies although individuals donated some items. The total photographic collection consists of around 50,000 images and topics ranging from images of work, industrial processes, products made and even microscopic images of metals taken for scientific and technological research.

Photographs relate to a number of Sheffield's largest companies including Hadfield's, Brown Bayleys, Thomas Turton & Sons, Thomas Firth's and Cammell Laird. The films comprise 300 cine film reels and are generally from Sheffield companies. They cover a range of items from training films to films recording manufacturing processes and product launches.

The 128 industry related pictures (oil paintings, watercolours, framed prints, etc.) are a small collection as the majority of works of art are collected for either the Social History or Art collections at Museums Sheffield.