Preparing the 1931 Census

The 1931 Census of Canada is coming soon! Here’s what we are doing to bring you free access this summer.

By law, the personal information in this census cannot be made public until 92 years after the census was completed. As a result, access is not available before June 1, 2023.

Where we are

We are have finished four of ten steps.

What’s done

  •   Transfer
    Receive 1931 Census from Statistics Canada in the form of 187 microfilm reels.
  •   Add to collection
    Assign reel numbers and location, create archival description, and add the record to Collection Search.
  •   Digitization
    Digitize microfilm reels, and verify each census page image by image—234,678 images in total.
  •   Partnership
    Establish a new partnership with Ancestry® and FamilySearch International to guarantee the timely and accurate transcription of names and other information recorded in the census.

To do

  •   Sort images by place
    Match the digitized images to the census’s geographic districts and sub-districts. Create the metadata structure needed to enable online access.
  •   Build image database
    Create database and a user-friendly interface for browsing images by census district and sub-district. Conduct testing and quality assurance.
  •   Go public
    On June 1, 2023, the Census turns 92! Users can now browse the digitized census returns by district and sub-district on the LAC website.
  •   Transcribe
    Create a searchable index and verify transcriptions. Our partners, Ancestry and FamilySearch, use AI technology to produce a fully verified transcription of all fields on the census form.
  •   Consolidate data
    The complete transcription is tested and added to the LAC Census Search database.
  •   Release in Census Search
    The 1931 Census is searchable and available for free on Census Search.

A look behind the scenes

Stay tuned for updates about the census release!