May 3, 2013

1921 Canadian Census Countdown - Get Involved!

1921 Canadian Census Countdown - Get Involved!
Census returns after 1916 are in the custody of Statistics Canada, not Library and Archives Canada  (LAC). The records are closed and under the legislation, when 92 calendar years have elapsed since the taking of a census, those records will be opened for public use and transferred to Library and Archives Canada.

The 1921 Census was taken on June 1st, which means that it will be in the custody of Library and Archives Canada on June 1, 2013.

That's not very far off! The problem is that there has been little promotion of this exciting and important set of records. There has been no hooplah that I've seen! In fact Library and Archives blog has written very little about what is going to happen (will it be indexed, and if so by what organization and when might we researchers expect to have an index).

On the LAC blog, the most recent post about the 1921 census says little other than "Our intention is to make it available to researchers online, in the same format as previous censuses, as soon as possible after that date."

Comments and questions posted to the LAC blog post have resulted in nothing more than parroting of the same sentence - they are excited and will make the census available as soon as possible.  Direct questions as to why Canadian genealogical societies are not being consulted are not answered.

Suggestions that FamlySearch or Ancestry.com or Automated Genealogy or volunteer indexers be involved are also being answered with this standard line - LAC is excited and will bring the records online ASAP.

And so once more we Canadians (and all of you who have ancestors in that Canadian census) are in the dark. Our government agencies work in mysterious ways, shrouded in secrecy, and we citizens are not privy to their ideas, nor are we consulted on important undertakings.

Why not join in the voices asking questions and offering suggestions on the LAC blog? Of course it's important to be polite, and make constructive suggestions or ask appropriate questions. So please don't go there to flame them. Go to offer good ideas and ask good questions.

Update: Fellow Blogger Kathryn Lake Hogan has also posted about the 1921 Census release and gives a call for bloggers and genealogists to GET INVOLVED! Help raise LAC's awareness of our questions and concerns.

8 comments:

The Grandmother Here said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this census.

Anonymous said...

We are all excited - quietly so but excited nontheless. It is frustrating not to have any time frame when we can access these records and it would be nice if we knew who the records were being partnered with ie Ancestry or some other group? We recognize that the transfer takes place June 1st and we realize it takes time to digitize those records, however, just a little PR would be nice for all of us who continue to be engaged.

Anonymous said...

As someone whose family nearly all came from Canada I am eagerly waiting to be able to locate great uncles and cousins... Impatiently waiting for the 1921 census :-)

Gretchen Muller said...

I am excited and patiently waiting for the 1921 census. My research really depends on being able to see the documents.

Eve1940 said...

My mom was born in Canada in 1921, so I am anxious to see the census online.

Helen said...

No word from LAC but I just got this from Statistics Canada:
"Thank you for contacting Statistics Canada. The 1921 Census information has already been transferred to Library and Archives Canada (LAC), effective January 2013. The information was scheduled to be released to the public on the LAC website in June, 2013. However, due to recent changes, we were just notified that this scheduled release has been put on hold. No new date has been provided yet. You may contact LAC for further details."

Helen said...
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Helen said...

Our prayers have been answered:
"Library and Archives Canada is committed to making the 1921 Census’ rich and complex information accessible and available to all Canadians, no matter where they live, in the next few weeks."
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/Pages/2013/1921-census.aspx