Manx National Heritage Library & Archives
The Manx National Heritage Library and Archives at the Manx Museum, Douglas is a non-lending reference facility holding a wide variety of resources relating to the Isle of Man, its history and culture.
The Isle of Man housed civilian internment camps during both World Wars, as well as many of the records related to those camps. Many of those interned will have spent at least part of their time on the Isle of Man. During the First World War German and Austrian Jews were interned in the Douglas and Knockaloe Camps but also in a separate Jewish Camp within the Douglas Camp. In the Second World War a significant proportion of the refugees who had fled to Britain from Nazi persecution were subsequently interned as ‘enemy aliens’ and held in camps on the Island.
Not all official internment records survive. Assorted printed and archival internment material has been amassed by MNH including private papers and academic research. Personal correspondence, memoirs, photographs, ephemera and dissertations are held as are extensive printed books, articles and camp newspapers.
The collections have been considerably expanded since 1994 when the Manx Museum, Douglas staged a major exhibition ‘Living with the Wire: Civilian Internment in the Isle of Man during the two World Wars’; a book of the same title is still in print available from MNH. Internment object and art resources are displayed in the art and military galleries at the Manx Museum.
The Library and Archive is open to the public, and enquiries can be dealt with on a walk-in basis (once a Visitor Registration Form has been completed). New users will need to register for a membership card.
The Library requests that users contacts the MNH Library & Archives prior to their visit to discuss their enquiry, to find out what suitable material may be available to answer their enquiry and the type of material they might want to see during their visit – this will help to ensure the most efficient and productive use of time during their visit. These enquiries can be made to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Library is open all year round, Wednesday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm, with certain exceptions. More information can be found on their website.
Manx National Heritage has a variety of material available online through its online platform iMuseum. Here there is free access to digitised Manx newspapers spanning both World Wars; also to digitised First World War internment camp newspapers (available in their original form but also with English translations from the original German). A full list of their digital collections can be found online.
Manx National Heritage,
Isle of Man,