Sunday, 14 January 2018

Tender issued for English and Welsh 1921 census project

The National Archives in England ( has issued a tender for a partner to digitise and license the 1921 census for England and Wales. From the tender:

The National Archives is seeking expressions of interest for the 1921 Census records digitisation and licensing project.

The project will be to digitise, transcribe and publish online the records of the 1921 Census of England and Wales. The contract award will include a commercial license to publish the images (and associated transcription data produced by the project) online and to complete all the required processes to complete this (including such activities as digital image capture, transcription of data to allow for meaningful searches of the records, online publication).

To demonstrate eligibility to be considered for this tender, potential Suppliers must demonstrate:

a) Experience of managing and completing large-scale digitisation projects of heritage material;

b) Online publication of heritage material specifically for use by the Family History Market;

c) Viable commercial models that return an income stream to licensor partners.

The full terms of the tender are available at

The 1921 census is the last available full census for these two countries prior to 1951, with the 1931 English and Welsh census destroyed during the Second World War, and no census carried out in 1941 due to the war.  The National Identity Register for England and Wales, an effective census substitute carried out in 1939, is available on FindmyPast (

There was no census carried out in 1921 in Ireland, with both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland subsequently having a census on the same night in 1926 - of these, only the records from the Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) survive. The next available surviving census for Northern Ireland was recorded in 1937 (to be released in 2037), with the 1939 National Identity Register for Northern Ireland already available for consultation via the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (

In Scotland, the 1921 census is held by the National Records of Scotland, which will digitise the records separately to the English and Welsh returns, for release and presentation in 2021. The 1931 Scottish census has also survived, and will be due for release in 2031, whilst the 1939 National Identity Register for Scotland is already available through the NRS (see

For an indication of the information recorded by the 1921 census, visit The census form can also be previewed at


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  1. Looking forward for this census to be available. Before you know it it’ll soon be here :-)

  2. Pedantic note: the E&W 1921 can't actually be available until January 2022. Presumably the same holds for Scotland.