Records of the Ordnance Survey relating to the Isle of Man: Object Name Books and Minor Control Point Albums

Scope and Content

A collection of 'Object Name Books' and 'Minor Control Point Albums' produced by the Ordnance Survey. The books were created by surveyors working for the Ordnance Survey in the 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. During this period the Isle of Man Government commissioned reviews of the Ordnance Survey maps of the Island, which brought the first updates to the large scale maps of the Island since the 19th century.

The 'Object Name Books' consist of large but thin paper back volumes with copies of the map squares they list and the object names lists themselves. Each 'Object Name Book' relates to one square of the National Grid or County Series maps. The surveyor listed all the names in that area, updating old names and adding new ones. A large range of objects are listed and named, from bridges and fortifications to mountains, farms, cottages, roads and street names. The level of detail depends on the density of outstanding objects in the square being surveyed. Some books cover two National Grid squares and this results from the fact that the maps in question show coastline areas, where one square sits mostly on land and the other in the sea.

The 'National Grid Minor Control Point Albums' follow the same principle of organisation as the Object Name Books, where each album corresponds to one square of the National Grid. The albums are small, close to A4 size. They contain signed authorisations by the land owners from where the surveyor took the reference points, technical information, descriptions and hand drawn illustrations of the points taken that were used to triangulate the area to help the reader understand the description of the said reference.

The 'Receipts' are simple receipts forms with a list of the records sent with each shipping of the 'Object Name Books' and 'Minor Control Point Albums' from the Ordnance Survey in the United Kingdom to the Isle of Man.

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection is part of the survey work undertaken by the Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey mapping of the Island started in 1869 when the island was mapped to a 1:2,500 scale. These maps are known as the 'County Series' and they mark the first official Government mapping. No further updates of these maps were done until the 1950's. During the second half of the 20th century, the Isle of Man Government commissioned new maps from the Ordnance Survey. Certain parts of the Island were mapped at larger scales of 1:1,250 and 1:2,500 using the National Grid reference system and the maps already existing were finally updated.

Part of the survey work included setting up control points and verifying place names, which resulted in the present series of 'Object Name Books' and 'Control Point Albums' described in this catalogue.


  • S69/1 - National Grid Object Name Books
  • S69/2 - County Series Object Name Books
  • S69/3 - National Grid Minor Control Point Albums
  • S69/4 - Receipts

Access Information

Records are open for public inspection. For information on visiting the Isle of Man Public Record Office, please see our website:

Acquisition Information

Records were fully transferred to the IOMPRO under section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Please see our website for catalogues:

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Liliana Silva, Archive and Records Officer, Isle of Man Public Record Office, 13 June 2017.

Conditions Governing Use

Crown copyright (duration - 125 years from the end of the calendar year of production).

Custodial History

Records were maintained by the Ordnance Survey in the United Kingdom until 1987 when they were sent to the Mapping Unit of the Isle of Man Government. They were physically moved to the Isle of Man Public Record Office in 2017.

Related Material

National Grid and County Series Ordnance Survey Maps.

Corporate Names