Cutlery & silverware industry

Records of over 100 cutlery businesses, relating to production, finance, directors and shareholders, sales and marketing, workforce, legal matters, photographs and company magazines.

Some records date from the 17th century. However the majority cover the 19th and 20th centuries, reflecting Sheffield’s dominance of the cutlery industry during those centuries.

Contact us on for more information, to book appointments or order archival materials.

Location of records

Most original records are available at Sheffield Archives, 52 Shoreham Street, Sheffield.

However some printed annual reports, company magazines and trade catalogues and some photographs are available at the Local Studies Library, Central Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield.

Order documents

Not all archive material is stored onsite and we may require notice of the items you wish to see. Please contact us onContact us on to confirm when we can retrieve items for you.


We can normally supply copies for private study purposes, subject to the usual copyright regulations. Please contact us for further information.

Background Information 

For a list of cutlery and silverware company records available at the Archives and Local Studies service please use the downloads at the bottom of the page.

Further reading

  • Binfield, C., and Hey, D., Mesters to Masters: A history of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire (Oxford, 1997) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 338.6 S; also available at Sheffield Archives: BIN/BUS)
  • Hey, David, A History of Sheffield (Carnegie Publishing Limited, 2005) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 942.74 S; also available at Sheffield Archives: HEY/LOCAL)
  • Hey, David, The Fiery Blades of Hallamshire: Sheffield and its Neighbourhood, 1660-1740 (Leicester, 1991) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 942.74 S; also available at Sheffield Archives: JEN/BUS)
  • Jenkins, Clare, On the Knife Edge : the Inside Story of the Sheffield Cutlery Industry (SCL Publishing, 1989) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 683.82 S; also available at Sheffield Archives: CUT/BUS)
  • Parry, David, 200 Years of Sheffield cutlery and edge tool making (Moss valley Heritage, 1985) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 683.82 SQ)
  • Tweedale, Geoffrey, The Sheffield Knife Book, (Sheffield, 1996) (Sheffield Local Studies Library: 683.82 SQ)

99% of these records are in their original paper format consisting of bound ledgers and paper files.

Contact the Archives and Local Studies Library

First Floor, Central Library
Surrey Street
S1 1XZ
0114 203 9395 (Sat, Mon, Tues)
0114 273 4753 (Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat)