Let the Research Begin — 1940 Census Available on the Web at a Number of Sites

A screen-shot of the National Archives website

The personal, detailed records  from the 1940 census, having been sealed for 72-years in accordance with confidentiality restrictions, were  made available online Monday for free at a number of websites. Although the National Archives was the first to post digital images of the entire census on the web at http://www.nara.gov , the interest in the schedules was so great that the federal website suffered from a “virtual traffic jam,” according to a spokesperson.  Today most of those problems seem to have been resolved as we were able to surf through the pages.  In addition, many state schedules were available at www.ancestry.com.  Delaware, for example, was posted online, but those searching out family roots in Maryland were going to need to wait just a little longer, as the Old Line State enumerations weren’t up as of noon today.  But they’re coming.  Virtual indexing tied to the images is going to take a little longer, but a number of groups are moving quickly with that so it won’t be too much longer before we’re able to search this valuable source for new insight into our past.  But as you wait, you’re able to scan through the pages, as you had to do when earlier releases were made via micorfilm.

A page from the 1940 census from rural Elkton, courtesy of http://www.ancestry.com

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