VAV!/March 18, 2012
On April 2, 2012, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will provide access to the images of the 1940 United States Federal Census for the first time. Unlike previous census years, images of the Census will be made available as free digital images.
The National Archives (NARA) has also launched its new website 1940census.archives.gov. No other website will host the 1940 census data on its April 2, release date.
A National Archives 3:13 minute video short below provides a "behind-the-scenes" view of staff preparations for the April 2, 2012, 9 a.m. EST launch.
Background on the 1940 Census
'While the original intent of the census was to determine how many representatives each state was entitled to send to the U.S. Congress, it has become a vital tool for Federal agencies in determining allocation of Federal funds and resources. The census is also a key research tool for sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists. Many of the questions on the 1940 census are the standard ones: name, age, gender, and race, education, and place of birth. But the 1940 census also asks many new questions, some reflecting concerns of the Great Depression. The instructions ask the enumerator to enter a circled x after the name of the person furnishing the information about the family; whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24--30, 1940; and income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939. The 1940 census also has a supplemental schedule for two names on each page. The supplemental schedule asks the place of birth of the person's father and mother; the person's usual occupation, not just what they were doing the week of March 24--30, 1940; and for all women who are or have been married, has this woman been married more than once and age at first marriage.'
For the census release online, the National Archives has digitized, in its entirety, more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.
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