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Manx National Heritage Launch Digital Collections 23 January 2013

Manx National Heritage has today announced the launch of iMuseum online, a new website that transforms the way people use the Isle of Man’s national archives, library and museum collections.

iMuseumBuilding on the launch of the iMuseum complex in Douglas - Isle of Man, the new online facility is available to view at www.imuseum.im and provides unparalleled access to a treasure trove of stories from the Isle of Man’s past.

Highlights include over 150 years of Manx Newspapers, 17th to 20th century baptism, marriage and burial records, records of the Island’s war memorials and thousands of images of Manx people and places from the National Photographic Archive. Almost 800 artworks from the Island’s National Art Collection are also available to view including works by Manx born Liberty Designer Archibald Knox.

Further content will be added as digitisation and cataloguing is completed, so to stay up to date with the most recent content you can register for newsletter updates.

Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:

“ iMuseum online opens up the Manx national archives to a worldwide audience and completely transforms the way in which people access our collections. Rather than having to view the items in a museum, specialist storage centre or on-site at the Manx Museum, people from across the world can now explore the goldmine of information in our collections from the comfort of their own homes. Research that might previously have taken many weeks, months or even years is now available in a matter of seconds at the click of a button.”

iMuseum.im can be searched free of charge, although a small subscription charge applies for using Newspapers and Publications for which over 400,000 pages from 26 titles are fully searchable.

The newspapers and publications provide countless accounts of how our ancestors lived, worked and died. They mainly date from the 19th century, but some go right the way back to 1792 and cover every aspect of local news, social life, advertisements and classifieds. Titles include ‘The Manxman’, ‘Mona’s Herald’, and the ‘Isle of Man Daily Times’, together with special supplements covering events such as the Isle of Man TT Races.

Highlights include:

- Eyewitness accounts of the Island’s development – newspaper reports, commentary and letters on topics ranging from the development of the Island’s Railways to the extraordinary development of the Laxey Mines;

- Exhaustive coverage of crime and punishment – from corporal punishment to murder trials and hangings including coverage on the last prisoner to be executed on the Island;

- Illustrations, photographs and advertisements – searchable advertisements and classifieds, selling everything from the latest fashion to medicines and miracle cures for coughs, colds and influenza;

- Births, deaths, marriages and everyday island life alongside first-hand accounts of historic events such as coverage of the commencement of motor racing on the Island’s public roads and introduction of votes for women in 1881, when the Isle of Man became the first place in the world to give women the vote.

The project has cost over £2m from a variety of sources. This includes major contributions from Isle of Man Government, the Charitable Fund of the Manx Museum and National Trust and the Friends of Manx National Heritage.

Project partners included Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development Information Services Division, PDMS, Olive Software and a number of companies that have assisted with the digitisation of images, sound and film to archival standards. Partnership support was also received from the Isle of Man Family History Society, the Isle of Man Government Preservation of War Memorials Committee and the Genealogical Society of Utah as well as through many thousands of hours of volunteer time. This help in kind and voluntary support provided another £2m of added value to the project.

Edmund Southworth continued:

“iMuseum online is a great example of the public and private sector working together to deliver this great new service which we hope will be an inspiration to generations of people to research their Manx connections online”.

Four subscription options are available: 1 day access, 7 days access, 30 days access and 365 days access, with prices starting from only 28p per day for an annual subscription.

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