Manx National Heritage, the charity responsible to the Isle of Man’s natural and cultural heritage, has joined forces with Google to share its historic collections alongside those of the world’s most famous collections.
Collections cared for by Manx National Heritage which tell the history of the Isle of Man are now discoverable on Google Arts & Culture with more collections and online exhibitions to come.
Google Arts & Culture is a non-profit initiative working with cultural institutions and artists around the world to preserve and bring the world’s art and culture online so it’s accessible to anyone, anywhere.
Manx National Heritage has chosen to launch its Google Arts & Culture page with the recently digitised 18th to 19th century sketches of the Isle of Man from the Art Collection. Together they present a vibrant picture of the landscape, monuments and still well-loved places of the Isle of Man as captured by past visitors and artists.
Google Arts & Culture allows visitors to organise the sketches by popularity, time or, most intriguingly, by the colour blue of the many seascapes or the green of the Manx countryside. An online exhibition called ‘Sketchbook Tours of the Isle of Man’, which includes Google Street View and audio clips from some of the travel journals and diaries of the time, has been curated by Manx National Heritage Assistant Curator, Hannah Murphy. Hannah says:
“Sketchbook Tours of the Isle of Man was originally planned as a physical exhibition which, due to the recent lockdown, could not go ahead. During the months of museum closure, Manx National Heritage’s online collections came into their own. Our iMuseum and online partnership with Google Arts & Culture has ensured this collection is publicly accessible, with over 500 sketches and watercolours now to be viewed and enjoyed.”
Accompanying the sketches is the TT Tom Badger Photographic Archive of races and riders largely from the 1950s. Synonymous with the Isle of Man, the TT Races also features as an online exhibition highlighting just some of the key riders from the earliest to later decades.
More collections and stories will be added this year by Manx National Heritage as part of the ongoing and much wider programme to put audiences in touch with collections. Meanwhile go ahead and visit artsandculture.google.com/partner/manx-national-heritage.
The need to digitally reach out has never been greater. Visitors have increasingly told Manx National Heritage how much they value more and more of the museum, library and archive collections going online.
Google Arts & Culture joins a number of already free, online ways to enjoy Manx National Heritage collections including the home-grown iMuseum website www.imuseum.im, with over 1 million records and 60,000 images; Art UK where you can curate works from the Art Collection; Sketchfab for playing with 3D models of the Manx Crosses; Archives Hub for summaries of key archives; and National Biodiversity Network Atlas Isle of Man for finding out about, not collections, but wildlife spottings on the Isle of Man. Possibly most liked of all is iMuseum Newspapers & Publications with the public telling us how much they’ve appreciated the decision to make searching this 1792-1960 newsprint content free.
- Google Arts & Culture: google.com/partner/manx-national-heritage
- iMuseum: imuseum.im
- Art UK: https://artuk.org/visit/collection/manx-national-heritage-2062
- Sketchfab: https://sketchfab.com/manxnationalheritage
- Archives Hub: https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/locations/2ca74f5e-040f-3c4d-9d35-6cb4bc99d45e
- National Biodiversity Network Atlas Isle of Man: https://isleofman.nbnatlas.org/