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National Archives Announces Website for 1940 Census Release

First online census release scheduled for April 2, 2012

March 6, 2012 - The National Archives, with its partner Archives.com, recently launched www.1940census.archives.gov in preparation for its first-ever online U.S. census release. On April 2, 2012, users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 census schedules, free of charge, through the new 1940 census website.

Many of the questions on the 1940 census are standard: name, age, gender, 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 release of the 1940 census online, the National Archives has digitized the entire census, creating more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

Additional information is available on the National Archives website.

[This article posted by: Erin Mosley] 

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