The Hawley Shorthand Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Small collection mainly concerning shorthand, in particular Isaac Pitman's method.

Administrative / Biographical History

The shorthand teacher Joseph Hawley (1876-1942) taught at the Manchester Municipal School of Commerce for thirty years and was also connected with the Stockport Technical School. His interest in the history of shorthand systems led to his Lecture on 'One Hundred Years of Shorthand' to the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society in December 1937, as well as to his gifts to Chetham's Library. He was the author of A Lantern Lecture on the Life of Sir Isaac Pitman (1913), A Life of Sir Isaac Pitman (1936), and One Hundred Years of Shorthand (1938). Hawley was an organiser and leader of rambles, and was for many years the leader of the Ramblers' section of the Manchester City News Fellowship. He combined his love of rambling with his interest in nature and topography, and was also the author of Combined Rail and Walking Tours (1927) for the London, Midland, and Scottish Railway (L.M.S.), and Walking and Cycling Tours in the Manchester District (1930) for the London and North-Eastern Railway (L.N.E.R.). Hawley's many social, literary, and antiquarian interests included involvement in the activities of a number of organisations: he was a member of the Romiley Fellowship, a member of the Manchester Literary Club, as well as an officer of the Romiley Cricket Club, and a committee member of the Ancoats Brotherhood. He was also involved with the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society for a number of years as a member (1927), and later as a councillor (1937-41). He regularly attended the society's meetings and excursions, and contributed reports of meetings to the Stockport Advertiser. He died, aged 66, after a long illness, at his home in Cherry Tree Lane, Romiley, Cheshire, on 12 April 1942. He was buried at St Chad's Church, Romiley.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection. Viewing is by prior appointment. Please contact

Acquisition Information

The contents of the collection were presented to Chetham's Library by Joseph Hawley of Cherry Tree Lane, Romiley, Cheshire, and of the Manchester Municipal Evening School of Commerce, on 5 October, 15 November, 1 December, and 13 December 1937, and on 22 November 1938.