Maps and plans of the Isle of Man now on iMuseum Search of iMuseum

Maps and plans of the Isle of Man now on iMuseum

Posted on 21.05.2018

Cathy Clucas, Library & Archive Assistant at the Manx Museum (2011-2017) recently completed a four-year project to create an online catalogue of Manx National Heritage’s historical maps and plans.

Iron Drill Hall erected at ‘Hermitage’ Peel Road, Douglas, I.O.M. for Major Stephen (1895-1896). Ref: P.6095

Now searchable on iMuseum, the collection includes commercially published maps, archaeological site plans, nautical charts, building plans and drawings and estate maps. Mining, railway development and land divisions are some of the topics well covered in the collections. Cathy says:

“The initial aim was to remove old index card drawers from the reading room at the Manx Museum and assess the size and condition of maps and plans suitable for scanning. It became obvious that these index cards covered only a small percentage of Manx National Heritage’s maps and plans collection – there was so much more to offer. So I set about going through the archive accession register.

Every January for one week, the library is closed to the public for behind the scenes work. I used this time to systematically go through map drawers to check content which helped to piece together and solve some map related mysteries. I also rediscovered some maps that had been stored out of sequence.

Meanwhile, more maps and plans had been donated to Manx National Heritage and some needed recording before appraisal. I spent plenty of time (especially during closure weeks) sorting through reams of huge Ordnance Survey maps and sorting them into sets and assessing them.

The maps and plans collection is a rich vein of information from landowners, family history and social history to scientific data about soils and geology. I particularly like the early estate colour plans that pre-date the first Ordnance Survey – they show buildings, field names and other interesting details of the landscape at that time. It’s only the tip of the iceberg but it will hopefully help to highlight what a truly amazing collection it is.”

The first plan of the Laxey Wheel, 1854. Ref: P.3625

Find out more about maps and plans of the Isle of Man here.

View Manx National Heritage’s online catalogue here.

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