Tools & Trades History Society

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About TATHS and its aims

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The Tools and Trades History Society is an educational charity, whose aim is to further the knowledge and understanding of hand tools and the trades in which they were used.

Joining TATHS makes sense whatever your level of interest as you will be able find like-minded enthusiasts and share your interests with them at local or national events and through our publications. The reports of future and past events show the range of our activities; our online shop shows the range of our publications including our specialist publications, original books and reprints.

We are not primarily a collectors' club but most of our members do own quite a lot of tools and some of them have studied their specialist interests in depth.

The society owns a substantial collection of tools, which is on permanent public display at the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre, near Arundel in West Sussex. All members are urged to visit Amberley as often as they can. We also have close links to the Hawley Collection in Sheffield.

The Society also holds a collection of more than a thousand books (including many that are now out of print) and old tool catalogues which is held at the Museum of Rural Life in Reading. It is available for research by both members and non-members.

Membership is open to all and we have members from around the world.  You can join on-line or by post.


The aims of the Tools and Trades History Society are to advance the education of the general public in the history, development and use of hand tools and of the people and trades that used them. We do that in a variety of ways, including:


For over thirty years we have produced a quarterly newsletter, printed and posted to all members. We will continue to do this, but some of the content will be published here on the website first. Scanned versions of  newsletters, containing much that is still of interest, are  available for download, as are copies of our Journals (now discontinued) containing more academic articles.


Meetings are held nationally and locally. They are generally informal and companiable as members do like to talk about tools!


We encourage original research and can offer some financial assistance in the form of Salaman Awards.