Isle of Man online newspaper archive to remain free permanently – BBC News

Thousands of newspapers documenting more than 150 years on the Isle of Man will remain available online for free permanently.

A subscription service to view the items, which date from 1792 to 1960, was temporarily suspended by Manx National Heritage (MNH) during the Covid-19 lockdown in April.

More than 30,000 pages were viewed that month.

A recent survey showed strong support for access to remain free.

The collection, which can be accessed through the iMuseum, contains more than 400,000 pages of newsprint.

Gaynor Haxby of MNH, said the digital collection had been “exceptionally popular” with people from “across the world”, including America, South Africa and Australia.

There were more than 10,600 visits to the website in April, up from 766 in March, she added.

There are now plans to digitise more contemporary newspapers, subject to fundraising for the £270,000 project.

Ms Haxby said: “Our ambition over the next few years is to add all of the Isle of Man newspapers for the years 1961 to 2020, which we believe will significantly increase the popularity of the site.”

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