Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Archives: what's become of the 1921 census?

Lisa Dillon of the Université de Montreal's demography program observes that the 1921 Census of Canada entered the public domain on June 1, 2013.... except that Library and Archives Canada, which holds it, has not made it available.

Dillon notes that during the tenure of the previous archivist, Ian Wilson, there was close and productive collaboration between the archives and the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure Project.  As one result of CCRI's work, she reports, the about-to-crumble-to-nothing microfilms of 20th century censuses were digitally scanned, so that now a searchable 1921 census could readily be made available via the LAC's website. But.... 
During Dr. Daniel Caron’s tenure as chief Librarian and Archivist, drastic cuts to LAC’s budget coupled with a shift in priorities at the very top led it to privilege partnerships with private industry and to neglect its relationships with the academic community and the volunteer sector.
Dillon wonders about LAC's deal with Ancestry and draws attention to a petition urging LAC to make the 1921 census available immediately. Sign it here.
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