Library and Archives

For over a century manuscripts, maps and plans, photographs, prints, film, sound and published works have been actively collected and preserved on behalf of the people of the Isle of Man.

Selection of newspaper covers

Every year thousands of people visit our free search facility called the Reading Room in the Manx Museum to make use of these resources for school projects, family history, academic research, media, publishing and general enquiries.

On your first visit you will be asked to complete a registration form and provide proof of your identity showing your current address (if you are under 16 we will also need a consent form signed by your parent or guardian).  Your reader’s card will display your name and membership number – please keep this safe and bring your card with you on future visits.  By registering, you are signing to accept our general terms and conditions including copyright restrictions.

Collection Guides & other Finding Aids

We have developed a range of information sheets for popular subjects. They contain selected source material and are not intended to be comprehensive.

Our online catalogue of printed books and pamphlets can be searched at Items of interest may then be requested in the Reading Room. Please use our request forms and note the relevant reference numbers for retrieval purposes.

For our archival collections the finding aids vary. Some catalogues and assorted indexes are available in the Reading Room but not online. Details of our dissertations and theses are on iMuseum and more catalogue descriptions will follow.

An overview of our manuscript collection is available on Archives Hub.

For top level descriptions of over 80 of our selected significant manuscript deposits search here.

Copying and loans

We provide a reference only (not lending) service and do not make any items available via the UK Inter-library loans system.  A limited copying service is available which is subject to staff availability, physical condition of the item, whether the quantity requested is reasonable and copyright restrictions. For copying from microfilms and other time intensive tasks the option of using a paid researcher exists (see Research section below).


We do not offer a full research service. Off-island enquirers, particularly family historians, may commission work from paid researchers. Contact details are given on page four of this fact sheet.

Opening Times

Our research facility at the seaward end of the Manx Museum complex is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.  We are closed on Mondays, Bank Holidays, between Christmas and New Year and during the last full week in January for behind the scenes work.