British photographic history

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iMuseum is Isle of Man's new digital museum which provides unprecedented access to the Manx National Heritage collections. This exciting new facility brings together a selection of archives into one digital resource. This includes over 150 years of newsprint, advertisements, announcements, news reports, and tales of local heroes all searchable by key word, names, and dates. 55,000 baptisms records from 1800 to 1878 detailing not only the child’s name, but also their parent’s name and father’s occupation ranging from lighthouse keeper to surgeon will also be available. Digital records holding the names of over 2,300 people who are remembered in the two World Wars and other conflicts around the world can also be found.

Of interest to BPH members are over 3,000 photographs of Manx people and places from the 1850s. Whether you’re looking for a family portrait or a picture capturing the Isle of Man in years gone by, a search in the iMuseum collections could reveal where your ancestors lived, worked or played. Many of the photographs come from original negatives and fragile glass plates from a Douglas Photographic Studio, where the proprietor WH Warburton meticulously recorded the name of each person photographed in his studio. Initially, just over 3,000 photographs will be available, with the digital collection being significantly enhanced over coming months and years.

The iMuseum opens in March 2011 and is situated on Kingswood Grove in Douglas, only a short walk from the Manx Museum complex. In the meantime, the Manx Museum is holding a series of workshops over the half-term holidays for families to discover the history of photography through portraits of people and places in the Isle of Man from years gone by.

Details of the workshops are available here, and information on the iMuseum/Manx Museum here.


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