Going Digital: The 1940 Census Hits the Web and YouTube

Today’s post comes from Gregory Marose, an intern in the National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications.

On April 2 at 9 a.m. (EDT), the National Archives will launch its first-ever online U.S. census release. By visiting 1940census.archives.gov, internet users can access a digitized version of the entire census, including more than 3.8 million images of schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and a census has been taken every ten years since then. While the original intent of the census was to determine how many representatives each state could send to Congress, today these records serve as vital research tools for sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists.

In celebration of this historic release, the National Archives has produced a series of short documentary videos on our YouTube channel. These must-watch videos provide unique insight into the areas of agriculture, housing, and population.

For a “behind-the-scenes” view of staff preparations and a tutorial on how to use the data that you will find once the 1940 Census is launched, check out this short documentary.

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