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Welcome to Project 21



Transcribing and Digitizing
The 1921 Census for Newfoundland

In an effort to provide more comprehensive source information by Project 21 over 150 people worldwide have volunteered their time and efforts to transcribe and post to the web the for the benefit of genealogists, historians and for general interest census data from the 1921 Census for Newfoundland. This came about by many people trying to gain access to the census and with limited availability, it occurred to me that if we could get enough volunteers, that the census could be done complete in a relatively short time. I had posted the idea to the 2 major Newfoundland and Labrador genealogical and history mailing list on Sunday 12 April 1998 and the response was immediate. This census contains approximately 234,000 names, birth dates, relation to a family group, religion, occupation and various other data.

In real time it would take an average typist about two years to transcribe the census, with the volunteer effort our goal was to have it completely digitized in 4 - 6 months, that having passed, and it is still not complete, but the renewed effort has brought us to the point where we have finished all the districts with exception to St. John's. Now we are in the process of taking inventory of that District and hope to have it completed by the end of summer. The cost of this project was the sole responsibility of the volunteers, approx. $2,900.00 cdn., that included photo copying, postage, gasoline and misc.. The copyright to each transposed section of the census will remain with the transcriber so it cannot be made for re-sale. Once the volunteers submitted the transcribed copies they were set in HTML format and immediately posted to the web, for free access to all.

This is perhaps the largest project of it's kind in the world, one that will benefit all with any interest in Newfoundland and Labrador's heritage, history or genealogy.

    Bill Crant
    Coordinator Project21

In its original form, the 1921 Census is a handwritten document. Its entries are posted on a family by family, community by community basis. Occasionally, however, communities are divided and the associated entries in the Census do not appear contiguously. Nor does the physical quality of every page or the clarity of the handwriting upon it lend itself to easy transcription. With the original document a great deal of information was based on the physical proximity of the entry with other entries. i.e. Family members were grouped together and families were grouped by community. In structure, the format will resemble the original as closely as possible and will maintain the original groupings and non-alphabetic order. The information for each individual, however, is established so that the original structure is not necessary.



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Revised: May 2002 (Don Tate)

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