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Statistics Canada Historical Publications Now Available on Scholars Portal Books

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Scholars Portal is pleased to announce that Statistics Canada’s Historical Collection is now available to view, search, and browse on the Scholars Portal Books platform.

The Historical Collection consists of over 90,000 digitized issues from Statistics Canada titles from the 19th to the early 21st century that were originally published in print, including the Canada Year BookThe DailyCanadian Social Trends, and the Consumer Price Index.  

These publications were initially distributed in print as part of the Depository Services Program, a program to improve access to government information by depositing government publications at research libraries across the country, and later digitized by Statistics Canada in 2015. Making this significant collection of historical materials available will facilitate research on Canada and Canadians of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Scholars Portal worked with the Statistics Canada Library to secure access to this valuable public domain collection with the intent to make it available and to preserve it for future generations. The Scholars Portal Books team has enriched the metadata, transforming the extensive MARC records provided by the Statistics Canada Library using a state-of-the-art, latest-generation XML-based metadata standard. This flexible and comprehensive format enables enhanced discovery, such as drawing connections between related content and linking multi-volume series. As part of the Scholars Portal Books platform, these documents will also be part of the workflows for long-term digital preservation.

“To make a document available digitally, scanning is only the first step,” says Kate Davis, Assistant Director for Content and Preservation at Scholars Portal. “Scholars Portal, as a library-driven technological infrastructure, is well-positioned to support precise metadata that makes the document easy to find; a user-friendly interface that makes the document easy to read and to connect with similar, relevant government and related information; and the back-end processes that ensure the digital copy will remain viable and accessible into the future. Adding this collection to the Scholars Portal Books platform provides a lot of that added value.”

“The Statistics Canada Historical Collection is an invaluable resource for researchers engaged in historical and comparative studies,” says Talia Chung, University Librarian, University of Ottawa. “Bringing this collection together in a single online location provides researchers with access to a more complete and unified collection of historical statistics - an essential portrait of the evolution of Canadian society as reflected in official statistics. With many libraries re-examining their physical holdings of government information, preservation initiatives such as this one will ensure continued access to Canada’s documented history.”

The Statistics Canada Historical Collection builds on previous digitized government document collections that are available on Scholars Portal Books. Bringing these collections together is another step toward creating a safe and stable place for government information with enhanced, user-centric access.

The full collection is available to browse here: 

For questions contact:

About Scholars Portal

Scholars Portal is a service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, hosted through the University of Toronto Libraries. The Scholars Portal technological infrastructure preserves and provides access to information resources collected and shared by Ontario’s 21 university libraries.  Through Scholars Portal online services, Ontario’s university students, faculty and researchers have access to an extensive and varied collection of scholarly content and datasets. Scholars Portal continues to respond to the research needs of Ontario universities through the creation of innovative information services and by working to ensure access to and preservation of this wealth of information.