Volunteers index 1940 U.S. Census in record time

Published: Monday, Sept. 10 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

In this file photo provided by the National Archives at College Park, an enumerator interviews a woman for the 1940 Census.

National Archives at College Park, Associated Press

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When the 1940 U.S. Census was released in April, an overwhelming number of visitors to the U.S. National Archives website caused the site to go down. Interest in the census remained high, and in June, 50 percent of the 3.8 million records had been indexed. Last week, the LDS Church Newsroom reported that the indexing has been completed in just four months.

More than 132 Million names from the 1940 U.S. Census are now searchable on The Church's FamilySearch website. The work, which was supposed to take a year, was completed in just four months thanks to the successful partnership between a consortium of national genealogical organizations, FamilySearch.org and more than 163,000 volunteers.

The indexing project, a cooperative effort between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archives.com, FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ProQuest and numerous genealogical societies, utilized the efforts of volunteers to complete the process in an exceptional manner. Begun in April, the project was not expected to be completed until October. The efficiency of the cooperative effort led David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, to praise the project as a perfect example of crowdsourcing.

Read more about the indexing efforts on LDS Church Newsroom.

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