In April of 1891 the Canadian government employed 4300 enumerators to ask an extensive set of questions at every household in the country. The result is a richly detailed snapshot of the Canadian people. Today, staff and students at the University of Guelph are making this information available to the research public in a digitised sample of individual records from the 1891 census. Construction of the database is expected to conclude during the second half of 2009; the principal remaining work is completion of coding, revision of documentation and beta testing.
The Historical Data Research Unit in collaboration with the Departments of History and Economics hosts the 1891 project. Support comes from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, private sector partners such as MES Hybrid Document Systems and Guelph’s College of Arts, College of Management and Economics and the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences.