A major Canadian resource

  • Digitized from the manuscript schedules of the 1871 Census of Canada, the only detailed industrial census returns to survive so completely from the past
  • With more than 45,000 industrial establishments, each with up to 100 variables, including many that never appeared in the published census reports
  • Provides uniquely valuable snapshots of industrial activity just after Confederation, at a time of transition in technology, business organization and work discipline
  • The original data supported by full definitions, descriptions of procedures, maps and indexes
  • Presents an atlas with detailed listing of census districts and sub-districts in 1871
  • Access to the manuscript census data supported by simple and more complex search strategies
  • Offers material of interest for the study of the technology, business and work organization of industrial activity and the history of families, businesses and communities in nineteenth-century Canada
  • Click on headings above to reach the full contents of this website


Elizabeth and Gerald Bloomfield first dreamed of an electronic version of the 1871 manuscript census of industry in 1982. In January 1991, full data for the 45,000 industrial establishments, with CANIND71 manuals in English and French, were released to university libraries and research institutes. Now we are making the database and digitized maps of census areas more widely accessible through this website.

The interest and support of all who have assisted with this project are gratefully acknowledged. Peter McCaskell helped substantially with database management and programming through all phases of the project, and designed search strategies for this website. Janine Grant, Barbara Sibley, Jane Turner and Stephen Bellinger diligently digitized the manuscript data for significant periods; the quality of the final database and documentation owes much to their careful and thorough work. We thank Larry Laliberte for his creative labour in digitizing maps of the census geographical units, and Brian Morber for some final checking. Marie Puddister has drawn many of the illustrative maps and diagrams, and designed the new CANIND71 website. For the final tasks of pulling the website together, we are grateful to Liana Rowlands. Some maps were designed by Professor Jan Mersey and Liana Rowlands.

We appreciate the shelter provided to this project by the Department of Geography, University of Guelph over 20 years. We are also grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for Research and Strategic grants between 1985 and 1993 which enabled us to digitize the 1871 manuscript census and the census geographical units.

If you have any questions or comments you may contact the Bloomfields at canind71@uoguelph.ca

Suggested Citation of CANIND71

The source of all data, documentation or programs derived from the CANIND71 database should be acknowledged as:

Canadian Industry in 1871 Project (CANIND71), University of Guelph, Ontario, 1982 - 2008. After the first reference to the full citation in each work by a user, the short form "CANIND71" may be used for subsequent references.

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