Ancestry Centre on course – slow ahead

FITTING out the new £1.25m Manx Ancestry Centre that we reported on here a few months ago will take six months after the building work is complete. Alex Downie told the Legislative Council that construction of the building at the former Government Analyst’s Laboratory next to the Manx Museum, Douglas, was on schedule with the facility due to be handed to Manx National Heritage in January. The center is expected to open in the second half of 2010.

Mr Downie said there was a lot of technology and wiring involved and systems had to be checked before the centre opens as there were plans to promote ‘roots tourism’ encouraging people to visit the Island to trace their family.
Software to give access to information is being developed by local firm PDMS with Treasury’s Information Services Division. The content will be digitised in a number of packages. Newspaper digitisation has gone out for tender and further projects to digitise parish records, births, marriages and deaths records and wills will begin in June, Mr Downie explained.
The digitisation of records is supported by the Genealogical Society of Utah, with considerable help from volunteers from the Isle of Man Family History Society and the Friends of Manx National Heritage.