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This project is a team effort by many researchers and organizations, all of whom deserve considerable recognition!

Original Data Entry

Volunteers working with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) based in Utah have invested approximately 200,000 hours transcribing the manuscript population schedules of the 1881 Census of Population into a database. Since these data are worth about $1 a case to enter, their labours represent $4.3 million-worth of volunteer time. The LDS volunteers are to be congratulated for their dedication and their invaluable contribution to the genealogical and historical communities.

Consultation, Institutional Support and Project

The Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, has provided our main funding for Phase II of the 1881 Canadian Census Project, through the North Atlantic Population Project. The principle investigator of NAPP is Steve Ruggles.

The Université de Montréal has contributed funds toward Phase II of the 1881 Canadian Census Project. Bertrand Desjardins, Researcher with le Programme de Recherche on DÉmographie Historique (PRDH) Département de démographie, is collaborating with the 1881 Canadian Census Project in providing expert guidance in data enhancement and delivery, including the refinement of French-language names. The "Département de Démographie" has set aside an office to use as a historical census laboratory.

The Director of the Institute of Canadian Studies, Chad Gaffield, provided invaluable leadership for Phase I of the 1881 project in defining our vision for this project, obtaining funding, setting aside facilities for project researchers at the Institute, meeting and discussing the project scope with LDS visitors and reviewing checking and cleaning priorities with Lisa Dillon.


The programmer for Phase I was University of Waterloo graduate David Klein. The programmer for Phase II of the 1881 Canadian Census Project is Denis Duval with the collaboration of Alexandre Hamelin-Purtell.

Project Labour, PHASE 1

The graduate student researchers employed in Phase I of the 1881 Canadian Census Project were:

  • Betsey Baldwin
  • Geraldine Cougnoux
  • Christine Dalton
  • Cheryl Desroches
  • Sean Foyn
  • Corrine Kennedy
  • Michelle Muir
  • Dan Yu

The Finding Aid to the 1881 Census of Canada was typed into an MS Excel file by University of Ottawa Canadian Studies student Karli Bergquist.

The Institute of Canadian Studies staff provided invaluable help during Phase I. The Institute Receptionist, Louise Verner, helped us to communicate with LDS collaborators; Administrative Assistant Houria Messadh guided the students' paperwork through the University administration and helped organize our meetings with LDS visitors; Information Technologies Co-ordinator Angela Mattiacci established the computers and arranged the network services necessary for managing the data.

Between January and September, 2001, the following volunteers checked data inconsistencies against the 1881 microfilm and entering single lines of missing data: Gary Bagley, Jim Cobben, Jill Dale, Mel Dillon, Barry Gilmour, Don Joy, Ruth Kirk, Sara Lytle, Stan Magwood, Bob Manchip, Bob Martin, Carol Martin, Patricia Roberts-Pichette, Madeleine Quinn, George Swift, Jim Stanzell, Gordon Taylor, Dorothy Tol, and Allan Topp. Several of these volunteers have come to the project through the Ontario Genealogical Society, Ottawa Branch, and the British Isles Family History Society.

Project Labour, PHASE 2

Refinement of the 1881 Canadian census data is now supervised by PRDH Projects Co-ordinator Alexandre Bujold, who first began work on the 1881 Census data as a research assistant in Phase 2 of the 1881 Canadian Census Project.

The graduate student researchers employed in Phase 2 of the 1881 Canadian Census Project were:

  • Samuel Rousseau
  • Édouard Nakouzi
  • Alexandre Bujold
  • France Normand
  • Josianne Doucet-Alarie
  • Sébastien Couvrette

International Collaboration

Cuong Nguyen and Ron Goeken from the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, devoted many hours to consulting on our project, tailoring the Minnesota 1880 Census Project programs to suit our data and helping Lisa Dillon and David Klein learn the programs. Matthew Woollard of the Department of History, University of Essex, and Senior Researcher on their 1881 Project, has provided guidance and support on various data matters.


The funding for Phase 1 came from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints as well as the University of Ottawa's Research Partnerships Programme. The time of Lisa Dillon during Phase 1 and Peter Kitchen during Phase 2 are paid by funds from the Harold J. Crabtree Foundation and by The Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The funding for Phase 2 is from a National Science Foundation-funded project of the Minnesota Population Center, The North Atlantic Population Project and the Université de Montréal.


During Phase 1, the University of Ottawa's Morrisset Library lent the Institute of Canadian Studies a microfilm machine; this loan was organized by Ginette Mageau, Chief, Loan Services. The Latter-day Saints Family History Centre on Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa, has lent us a second microfilm machine for Phase 1. This loan was organized by Patricia Trudel. Also, between September and December, 2000, the University of Ottawa Writing Centre provided our project with 5 gigabytes of storage space on their server, allowing students to store their files on a server which is shared among the various project computers. The Institute of Canadian Studies and the 1881 Census Project then together bought 30 gigabtyes of space on this server. Through its "Fonds d'Installation" program, the Université de Montréal, provided funds for the purchase of one computer for Phase 2 of the 1881 Canadian Census Project. The National Archives of Canada has loaned us a full set of 1881 Canadian census microfilm reels. This loan was arranged by Mary Munk.

Last updated: 9/1/2010

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