Manuscript Archive Search of iMuseum

Manuscript Archive

Manx National Heritage Library & Archives at the Manx Museum is engaged on a year-long project to improve online access to selected manuscript resources through iMuseum and Archives Hub.  The Manuscript Archive is hugely varied, covering all aspects of Manx cultural, economic, social and political history making it a rich and much-used resource for researchers and the public.

Eleanor Williams, Project Archivist, is currently researching and writing biographical and administrative histories for each manuscript archive, along with describing the content of each archive. Throughout 2016 these descriptions and how to consult the archives in the reading room at Manx National Heritage Library & Archives will be made available online.

Eleanor says:

I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at MNH having come across some fascinating finds within the Manuscript Archive.  Here are my top five:

MS 13070 The family and business papers of the Quayle family of Glen Maye, Patrick  The records relay the story of the colourful character Lancelot Quayle and his family, who was postmaster in the small village of Glen Maye.  Lancelot was a pillar in his community and his family papers represent the quintessential image of village life in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The deposit also highlights the pain and bereavement of the family when Lancelot’s younger brother and only son lose their lives in the First World War.  A very emotional set of papers and a personal favourite of mine.



MS 09374 Records of Teare and Sons, Sailmakers and Ship Chandlers of Peel  This business represents a time when the Isle of Man was dominated by fishing, boat building and trading of fish.  Teare and Sons thrived under the economic growth and even invested their money in Manx built boats.  A successful business through-and-through and only closing its doors after the death of the last sail maker in 1964.

EYA Teare sailloft 001


MS 09800 Crew lists and agreements for vessels registered to Isle of Man ports  A great set of records for people interested in Manx maritime and family history.  The files provide a wealth of information on individuals such as name, age, place of birth, position on the ship, previous service on other ships, date and place of joining the ship, time and place of death or leaving the ship and the nature of the seaman’s departure.  The deposit also has a fascinating archival history and their survival is credited to the MNH Library in the 1960s.



MS 11882 Papers of Wilhelm Anton Friedrich Paul Steiner, onetime internee in Central Camp, Douglas  Wilhelm was an Austrian scholar who had been interned on the Island during the Second World War.  His letters provide insight into life as an internee and we also witness his interaction with his parents who unfortunately did not survive the war.  Interestingly his brother and first cousins also found themselves interned on the Isle of Man at the same time.

MS 11882

MS 12837 Papers relating to the evacuation of Guernsey school children on board the SS Viking  The records provide evidence of the significant part this Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel played within the war effort of the Second World War.  May 1940 witnessed the invasion of the German army in France, fearing its close proximity the British Government decided to evacuate all children from the Channel Islands and called on their Manx counterparts to help.  The deposit relays the children’s memoirs, highlighting the effect of war on the younger generation.