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 newsletter, journal, 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:


The Journal carries articles, often featuring original research, into tools and toolmaking across a wide range of trades. Some of the older journals are available for download; backnumbers can also be bought in our shop. Some articles are featured in the Tools and trades section.


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 early newsletters, containing much that is still of interest, are now being made available for download.


We have a library of over 1100 books, available for reference at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, Berkshire.

Tool Collection

TATHS owns an extensive collection of tools which are displayed in our own building at the Amberley Museum in Sussex.


This website, as the public face of the society, provides an insight into what we do and have done. It is also the way that anyone can join, buy publications, see what events are coming up or ask questions. A members only area allows members to locate others with whom they share interests and will be developed to bring extra benefits.


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.