Statistics Canada has transferred the 1926 Census of Prairie Provinces, which contains over 45,000 pages, to Library and Archives Canada. Over the summer, we concluded an agreement with FamilySearch to index the thousands of census entries so Canadians can find the material on our website easily.
FamilySearch has completed the indexing and is now proceeding with quality control. On December 1, they will send us the index and we will start building our new database. The Census database will consist of a free searchable index as well as the digitized images from the 1926 Census of Prairie Provinces.
We expect to have an online database by March 2019.
Stay tuned for more Census updates!
About the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces
Since 1871, a Canada-wide census has been held every 10 years. However, the population of the Prairie provinces was rapidly expanding, so there was a need for more frequent population counts in those provinces. It was decided to conduct a census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in June 1906 (in between the Canada-wide censuses), and every 10 years thereafter.
Library and Archives Canada is committed to providing free access to Canadian census information. Visit our census page to search all of LAC's census databases.
Questions and answers
When will the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces be available to the public?
- The 1926 census returns were transferred to Library and Archives Canada from Statistics Canada on 46 microfilm reels (48,529 images)
- We have digitized the images into PDF and JPG formats
- FamilySearch has indexed the images so that they will be searchable on our website and they are now conducting quality control
- We plan to have the census online in March 2019
Will the 1926 census be available to the public on microfilm (or in any other format) in the Library and Archives Canada building?
- We are developing a database of digitized images that you will be able to search for free on our website from anywhere in the world
- When the searchable index is completed, it will be possible to find specific information in the thousands of pages of digital census records
- To preserve the stability and authenticity of the record, the original microfilms will not be available for loan or consultation
Why does the 1926 census include the Prairie provinces only?
- Since 1871, the Canada-wide census was held every 10 years
- At the turn of the century, the population of the Prairie provinces was rapidly expanding.
- There was a need for more frequent population counts in those provinces
- In addition to the Canada-wide census, it was decided in 1926 to conduct a census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta (in between the Canada-wide censuses), and every 10 years thereafter
Are there any legal requirements for the release of the 1926 census?
- The Statistics Act states that returns will be transferred from Statistics Canada to Library and Archives Canada 92 years after a census has been taken
- There are no legally mandated timeframes for public release
- In keeping with our mandate to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, we will provide free searching on our website