FASCINATING: Just-Released 1940 Census Data Reveals Who Lived In Your Digs

Ever wondered who was cooking pot roast on your antique stove in 1940? Who hid that stamp beneath the floorboards when you were gutting your Willow Street coop bedroom? How much that Middagh Street apartment cost to rent 70 years ago? Now’s your chance to find out. In partnership with Archives.com, the U.S. National Archives released Census records from 1940 online on April 2—comprising 3.8 million images scanned from some 4,000 rolls of microfilm.

The website offers access to maps and hand-written info about every known address in all 48 states in the Union, allowing you to find census maps and descriptions to locate an enumeration district, browse census images to locate any household interviewed in the 1940 Census and then save and/or download images. The Search page is here.

Warning: The site is slow, if not clunky, as hundreds of thousands are discovering this fascinating window to the past all at once. It’s also a bit unnerving to navigate. The best tutorial I found is at Gawker.com here.

Happy hunting! Be sure to share anything revealing with all your friends here on the BHB. We’ll also be scouring for tidbits over the next several weeks.

(Image: Gawker.com)

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  • Mark

    This is really fun. But unfortunately I can’t bring up any of the detailed info on my building on Remsen street. ED 24-34B. It just loads forever. Had no problem with my old place on 1st Ave in Manhattan. Rent used to be just $55 a month. What a steal!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    I had the same problem. I found my ED but the Census Data does not load… I’ll try again in a day or two.

  • Mark

    Got it working now. My apartment used to rent out for $35 a month. Must have been nice. Owning the whole building for $2300 must have been even nicer.