From 1 August 2017 the Library and Archives Reading Room at the Manx Museum will be open between Wednesday and Saturday, 10 am to 5pm. The hours differ from those of the Manx Museum and so researchers and enquirers are advised and encouraged to plan their research visits accordingly.
This alteration in opening hours will enable the library team to work behind the scenes on cataloguing, collections care and delivering a programme of events. From Wednesday to Saturday the team will continue to provide expert support to researchers and visitors.
The collections managed by the Library and Archives include printed, manuscript, photographic, cartographic and multimedia resources. These have been amassed during the past century to help shed light on the history and culture of the Isle of Man. As well as holding ecclesiastical, business, and some governmental records the repository stores archives of archaeological excavations, societies, authors and some families. Among these are the exceptional papers of the Dukes of Atholl and Earls of Derby relating to their former rule of the Island and the papers of the Quayle family of Bridge House, Castletown.
Over recent years assorted digitised newspapers and photographs have been released to iMuseum (www.imuseum.im) thereby providing an alternative and out-of-hours route to accessing our Library and Archives’ collections. In addition, iMuseum hosts descriptions of Manx printed matter and selected manuscript deposits.
The user base in the Library and Archives is broad and includes enquiries from students and family historians, those conducting conveyancing searches and those with a particular focus, for example attempting to trace information about one-time internees held on the Isle of Man or trying to trace the hotel in which parents honeymooned.
The appetite of researchers is to know more about what is held in the Library and Archives. Manx National Heritage Archivist Wendy Thirkettle explains:
“Our library team welcomes thousands of visitors to our Reading Room each year. From 1 August this warm welcome will continue while freeing up the team to work behind the scenes and improve finding aids to the wonderful resources in our care”.
“There is a recognised demand for school groups and others to visit and learn more about the Library and Archives and to attend ‘How to’ sessions for family history and other types of research. We look forward to offering new activities whilst providing a sustainable regular service to existing researchers and new visitors. Manx National Heritage’s Library and Archives look forward to supporting future research about the Isle of Man”.