In a move guaranteed to delight many, Manx National Heritage, the charity responsible for the care and promotion of the Isle of Man’s natural and cultural heritage has today announced their decision to make access to iMuseum online newspapers and publications free on a permanent basis.
Online subscription fees to www.imuseum.im/newspapers/ have been waived and visitors can now freely search over 150 years of Island news from 1792 – 1960. An option to make a donation to help support the work of Manx National Heritage is available.
Manx National Heritage acted quickly to make access to the website free at the start of lockdown recognising that having things to do online provided a very welcome distraction during the pandemic.
The move to free online access proved popular with over 30,000 pages viewed in April alone. Individual visits to the website similarly rocketed from 766 in March to 10,617 in April with international visitors from the USA, South Africa, Australia, UK, and also closer to home on the Isle of Man.
People throughout the summer have continued to enjoy unlimited free access to www.imuseum.im/newspapers/. Whether for family history, historical research or the chance mention of a loved-one, the ability to easily search 400,000 pages of the Island’s news archive is an impressive digital resource.
A survey by Manx National Heritage revealed how much people enjoyed having free access to the website with the majority saying they would voluntarily donate to the charity if the website were to remain free. The decision has now been made to do just that.
Gaynor Haxby, Head of Public Services for Manx National Heritage said:
“The Trustees of Manx National Heritage provided unanimous support for the initiative, which has proven to be exceptionally popular with our audiences across the world.
Our ambition over the next few years is to add all of the Isle of Man newspapers for the years 1961 to 2020 which we believe will significantly increase the popularity of the site. This will however cost the charity in the region of £270,000 and the pace in which we can achieve this will depend on our ability to raise the necessary funds.”
It is easy to search and browse the 42 titles on www.imuseum.im/newspapers/, from a mainstay newspaper such as the Isle of Times, to a First World War internment camp newspaper (translated from German into English), to the TT Special. The website is free to all with no login needed and there’s a clickable way to share the news found on social media.
Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGreggor, a Scottish folk duo were regulars on TV magazine programmes in the 1960s. They are pictured outside the Isle of Man Examiner office on Athol Street, Douglas.