The 1891 project continues the University of Guelph commitment to historical census data and, more broadly, to social science history. From 1987 to 1991 Elizabeth Bloomfield, Gerald Bloomfield and Kris Inwood compiled a national database of information from the 1871 industrial census. An international conference at Guelph in 1993 enhanced visibility for census manuscript-based research and led to special issues of the journals Histoire sociale/Social History and Historical Methods. More recently Guelph has organized international meetings focussing on economic history in Canada and Latin America, the methodology of historical data linkage and the role of human capital in economic growth.
Today, the College of Management and Economics and the College of Arts jointly host the 1891 project; History and Economics are the lead departments. The project collaborates closely with the research programme of the Canada Research Chair Douglas McCalla, the Scottish Studies Foundation Chair Graeme Morton, the University Research Chair in Econometrics Thanasis Stengos, the rural history group and Economics Department activity in the areas of labour economics, econometrics and economic history. The 1891 project is housed in the University of Guelph Historical Data Research Unit which has two workrooms on the 8th floor of the MacKinnon Building, one small room on the 6th floor of the McLaughlin Library and another in the History Department.