Now the heritage collections at the Isle of Man Museum have been digitised and have released online at www.imuseum.im giving the world access to the most amazing collection of Manx records right at their fingertips.
As well as providing hundreds of artworks, sound recordings and photographs of artifacts currently that are housed in museums across the Isle of Man, many of the records most important to genealogists – such as baptism, marriage and burial records – are also included. Each document carries a detailed catalogue description and is fully transcribed, meaning that its contents can be searched by keyword or browsed by category. Once users have identified an image or document relevant to their research interests, they can ‘pin’ items to a digital album for downloading and printing later.
This state-of-the-art website forms part of a £2 million initiative to help preserve and promote Manx culture, and has made possible by large financial contributions from the Isle of Man government and volunteer work by members of organisations, such as the Isle of Man Family History Society. Further items held by the iMuseum are currently being digitised and are set to be uploaded to the website over the course of the next few years.
“iMuseum online opens up the Manx national archives to a worldwide audience and completely transforms the way in which people access our collections,” explains Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage. “Rather than having to view the items in a museum or specialist storage centre, people from across the world can now explore the goldmine of information in our collections from the comfort of their own homes. Research that may have taken many months or even years is now available in seconds at the click of a button.”
For a small charge, iMuseum also provides a portal for viewing thousands of newspapers dating back to the late 18th century. Comprising over 400,000 digitised pages, the publications provide eyewitness accounts of key events in the island’s history as well as key resources for family historians such as family announcements and obituaries.