Advances in technology have helped companies create virtualized worlds enabling them to sync all their data into the cloud. Users can now get their hands on smartphone devices that have applications for just about everything. Now, that technology has helped The National Archives by allowing the company to put the entire 1940’s census online for the first time for free.
This morning, The National Archives, announced it was able to scan the entire census document and put it online at 1940census.archives.gov, granting access to users all over the world. All a user needs is an Internet connection and he/she can search through millions of digitally scanned documents. These documents have been available online before through websites such as Ancestry.com and other genealogy websites. However, all of those required a subscription and only show users one page at a time in line with their search query.
The National Archives group plans on taking advantage of over thousands of volunteers to help complete the project by building a database that permits users to not only search by location, but by name and other more specific details over the next few months.
David Ferriero, National Archives chief, spoke at the launch event in Washington saying this is a big day for The National Archives and the world.
“We now have access to a street-level view of a country in the grips of a depression and on the brink of global way,” said Ferriero referring to the fact that the 1940 census was taken during a hard time in United States history.
Ferriero said 120,000 people helped the organization by collecting information on over 130 million people to include in the census database. Researchers were even able to contact some people that signed the census that are still alive today. This information could help connect families all over the world.
Censuses are used to collect population data of that current year. For example, if you were to look at the first page from the 1940’s census, you could find an entire families history such as the mother, father, if they had any children, when they came to America, what language they spoke, what they did, how much money they made, and even if they rent or own a home. A lot of times these documents are used to help families now trace their history back in time.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin