Each householder was required to complete a census schedule giving the address of the household, the names, ages, sex, occupations and places of birth of each individual residing in his or her accommodation. In 1851 householders were asked to give more precise details of the places of birth of each resident, to state their relationships to him or her, marital status and the nature of any disabilities from which they may have suffered. In 1891 householders were asked how many rooms (if less than five) their family occupied and additional occupational data was collected.
The enumerator then collected the census schedules and these were copied into census enumerators’ books. The way these are grouped may mean that a road is split over several folios with other streets in between. In this case the street indexes should list a series of folio references.
Although the original census schedules were destroyed many years ago, the books were kept and eventually moved to the PRO archive. The books were then filmed in 1970 to prevent the increasing usage from destroying these fragile records.
You may find the odd torn or mutilated page but in general the records have survived in remarkable condition considering the heavy usage they have had.