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The Canadian Encyclopedia

Cover of 2000 edition

The Canadian Encyclopedia is a source of information on Canada published in English and French. It is available online, at no cost. The Canadian Encyclopedia includes 14,000 articles in each language on numerous subjects including history, popular culture, events, people, places, politics, arts, First Nations, sports and science.

The website also provides access to the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia Junior Edition, Maclean's articles and Timelines of Canadian history.


Canada had been without a national encyclopedia since the 1957 Encyclopedia Canadiana.

In response, in the 1980s the Canadian nationalist Mel Hurtig launched a project to create a wholly new Canadian encyclopedia with support from Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed.[1] The Editor in chief James Harley Marsh recruited more than 3,000 authors to write for it.

The first edition of The Canadian Encyclopedia was published in three volumes in 1985 (ISBN 0-88830-269-X) and was a Canadian bestseller (150,000 sets sold in six months), and a revised and expanded edition was released in 1988 (ISBN 0-88830-326-2). In September 1990, Hurtig published the five-volume Junior Encyclopedia of Canada (ISBN 0-88830-334-3), the first encyclopedia for young Canadians.

Hurtig sold his publishing company to McClelland & Stewart in May 1991 and with it the encyclopedia.[2] In 1995, McClelland & Stewart published the first digital CD-ROM edition (ISBN 0-7710-2041-4). Today, The Historica Dominion Institute, a not-for-profit foundation, publishes the encyclopedia for free online.

When McClelland & Stewart took over The Canadian Encyclopedia archives that Hurtig had left behind in an East York warehouse, thousands of original photographs, recordings, letters and other research materials which had been used in the production of the publication were destroyed, most simply thrown in the trash.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "How Canada got an encyclopedia to call its own" Jane Taber, The Globe and Mail. 7 October 2010
  2. ^ "Mel Hurtig" The Canadian Encyclopedia

External links