Dr. Eric Sager

Dr. Eric Sager
Adjunct Professor and Emeritus
Department of History




Canadian history, labour history, family history.

Faces of UVic Research video


I received my PhD in British history from the University of British Columbia in 1975, after completing a doctoral thesis on the peace movement in nineteenth-century England. I taught at the University of British Columbia (1974-75) and the University of Winnipeg (1975-76). Between 1976 and 1979, and in 1981-82, I was Assistant Professor (Research) with the Atlantic Canada Shipping Project at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I taught at Erindale College (University of Toronto) from 1979 to 1981 and 1982-83, before joining the History Department at Victoria in 1983.  I have worked extensively with information from Canada's censuses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I was Director of the Canadian Families Project (1996-2001) and a co-investigator with the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure Project (2003-09). My current research project is on "The Problem of Inequality in the Canadian Liberal Order."

Selected publications


  • Seafaring Labour: The Merchant Marine of Atlantic Canada, 1820-1914 (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 321 + xviii pages, 1989).
  • Maritime Capital: The Shipping Industry of Atlantic Canada, 1820-1914 (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 289 + xviii pages, 1990) (by Eric W. Sager with Gerald E. Panting).
  • Ships and Memories: Merchant Seafarers in Canada's Age of Steam (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1993). Discovering Darwin: The 1930s in History and Memory (Darwin: The Historical Society of the Northern Territory, 1993).
  • Unwilling Idlers: The Urban Unemployed and their Families in Late Victorian Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998)(co-authored with Peter Baskerville)
  • Household Counts: Canadian Households and Families in 1901 (University of Toronto Press, 2007)(co-edited with P. Baskerville).