Tourism and identity project

Tourism and Identity: Tourist Guide Books 1820-1930

This project involved a comprehensive survey of tourism guidebooks, dating from 1820 to 1930, held in the Manx National Heritage Library & Archives (MNHL). The research examined the way in which the Isle of Man was portrayed to visitors from the beginnings of the visiting industry in the first half of the nineteenth century to the inter-war period. A selection of guidebooks from different time periods were selected for detailed analysis. The review of these analyses summarised the different phases of the tourist industry on the Isle of Man, and the developments in tourism that took place at this time. The review also identified the authors and publishers of the guidebooks and the intended readership; transport to the Island and on-Island; tourist accommodation; and visitor attractions and entertainments. The final report is housed in the MNHL and includes a database of those guidebooks held by MNHL. Work is ongoing on the academic output from this research. Further research will focus on the development of specific tourist attractions on the Island and the role of tourism in shaping Manx heritage and identity.