This morning the National Archives unveiled an ambitious three-year project to provide complete online access to the 1940 census -- the census edition that details America during the Great Depression. This is the first census to be made fully and freely available over the web.
During World War II, the Bureau of the Census took the 1940 census and put it all on microfilm, where it has remained for the last 72 years -- the duration of a legal waiting period that has just officially come to its end. Over the last three years, staffers at the National Archives have taken those microfilm strips, scanned them, and split the long scans into individual images, more than 3.8 million of them, representing 131,669,275 in the continental U.S. and another 2.5 million in U.S. territories including Alaska and Hawaii.
Read the full story at The Atlantic.