This morning the National Archives unveiled an ambitious three-year project to provide complete online access to the 1940 census — the census edition that details America during the Great Depression. This is the first census to be made fully and freely available over the web.
During World War II, the Bureau of the Census took the 1940 census and put it all on microfilm, where it has remained for the last 72 years — the duration of a legal waiting period that has just officially come to its end. Over the last three years, staffers at the National Archives have taken those microfilm strips, scanned them, and split the long scans into individual images, more than 3.8 million of them, representing 131,669,275 in the continental U.S. and another 2.5 million in U.S. territories including Alaska and Hawaii.
For those who want to track down their parents, grandparents, and other family members from that era, you’ll need a bit more than their names, unfortunately. For the time being, the census is only searchable by “enumeration district numbers” — small geographical units that structure the organization’s paperwork. If you know an address where your family lived, you’ll be able to find the enumeration district on the National Archives website or on this great index site created by Steve Morse.
For those with only a name, you’ll need to hang tight for now. The National Archives is asking for volunteers to help index the census to be searchable by names and other bits of information, but that is still a ways off.
Anybody have any luck tracking down an old house?
- ironfeathers reblogged this from diamondandbroad
- decause reblogged this from theatlantic
- kat-aroo answered: I wrote a post about what I found playing in the census: 36thavenueadventures.co…
- theknitter answered: Not even a brick!
- theknitter likes this
- undercalicoskies reblogged this from theatlantic
- nomoretexasgovernorsforpresident reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
- xxx-irielife-xxx reblogged this from petapeta
- ironfeathers likes this
- danyea likes this
- oldparasitesingle likes this
- petapeta reblogged this from wizardblue
- wizardblue reblogged this from theatlantic
- spacecowboywhit answered: It kept freezing for me!
- thetruthpursuit likes this
- deepertheroots likes this
- boscothemigh likes this
- kellymce reblogged this from theatlantic
- timekiller-s likes this
- onlylivingboy likes this
- ajilivizion reblogged this from theatlantic
- cdanielphotog reblogged this from theatlantic
- dissiderata likes this
- publicinsightjeff likes this
- 30franimals likes this
- bananacasts likes this
- s-zuniga reblogged this from theatlantic
- phacts likes this
- naffology likes this
- diamondandbroad reblogged this from theatlantic
- misharollins likes this
- whoweretheqajars likes this
- blackmamba503 likes this
- politico likes this
- crypt-kicker likes this
- purpleishboots likes this
- saraoswinoswald likes this
- weekendpublisher likes this
- talkdatatome reblogged this from theatlantic
- alisonagosti likes this
- irideae likes this
- peaceshine3 reblogged this from theatlantic
- taylorlorenz reblogged this from theatlantic
- theatlantic posted this