Manx National Heritage, the charity responsible for the care and promotion of Isle of Man’s natural and cultural heritage announces the launch of a new database and website, https://isleofmanher.im/ .  The new website provides access all in one place for the first time to information and records on the Isle of Man’s historic environment, familiarly known as the Historic Environment Record.

Historic Environment Records (HERs) are information services that provide access to comprehensive and dynamic resources relating to the archaeology and historic built environment of a defined geographic area.  They contain details on local archaeological sites and finds, historic buildings and historic landscapes and are regularly updated.

The IOMHER website is free to use, viewable on any device, and can be found at https://isleofmanher.im/.  On it can be found information on the Island’s historic places, archaeological sites, landscapes and historic buildings. Using the latest open source software, IOMHER provides a major research tool for members of the public, commercial operations and academics alike, allowing users to carry out searches in different ways.  The IOMHER also now forms the management database for the Isle of Man’s official Historic Environment Record enabling the team at Manx National Heritage to better safeguard, grow and share what we know about the Island’s rich built, archaeological and underwater historic environment.

The IOMHER, which cost about £40,000 to create, is the culmination of four years of work  by the team at Manx National Heritage.

Andrew Johnson, HER Officer for Manx National Heritage explained:

“Although some information about the Isle of Man’s  historic environment was already available to the public through individual resources and archives such as the Library and Archives at the Manx Museum, there has never been a single database that pulled together all of the information in one place.  The new website isleofmanher.im does just that, showcasing the diversity of historic sites, finds and archaeological features, historic buildings and unique characteristics of our landscape.  It is packed full of information and will be regularly updated with new material, providing an up to date research source. 

This is very much back to our roots as an organisation as we started life in the 1880s as the Ancient Monuments Trustees, researching and recording antiquities in the landscape of the Island”.

The website, https://isleofmanher.im/, went live on 29 March 2021 giving access to the Isle of Man’s statutory ancient monuments, the Manx Crosses and the Island’s war memorials.  During 2021 and over the next two years more resources will be released onto the website, including information about the underwater historic environment.  The hope over the coming years is to attract not only more people to use the IOMHER but to enable specialists to work with us to gather and contribute reliable information to it.

In launching https://isleofmanher.im/, MNH joins over 85 HERs in the British Isles which are maintained and managed by local authorities as the essential core of historic environment services. These are mainly county council or unitary authority based, but may also be held by joint services (i.e. more than one authority working together), district councils, and national parks. Similar records are maintained by major landowners, such as, the National Trust.

The IOMHER website was built using Arches, an open-source data-management platform created to inventory cultural heritage places. Developed by the Getty Conservation Institute in partnership with World Monuments Funds, it employs international standards for cultural heritage information. It is freely available to cultural heritage organisations worldwide to implement however they wish.

Jude Dicken, Collections Information Manager for Manx National Heritage, who has worked to help deliver the IOMHER said:

“We extend our thanks to everyone who has contributed to the project from Historic England to the Getty Conservation Institute, Arches users around the world, Isle of Man Government Technology Services and our software support provider Knowledge Integration.  We’d also like to thank the Isle of Man Preservation of War Memorials Committee who compiled and continue to add to the war memorials resources”.

Find out more at https://isleofmanher.im/. 

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