The Canadian Encyclopedia
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The Canadian Encyclopedia is a source of information on Canada. It is available online, at no cost. The Canadian Encyclopedia is available in both English and French and includes some 14,000 articles in each language on a wide variety of 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.
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. 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. 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.