SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Online volunteers surpassed the previous one-day mark for indexing (transcribing) genealogical records, including the 1940 U.S. Census, as part of the “Five Million Record Challenge” issued by the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. Aiming to propel volunteer contributions past the previous high of nearly 4.9 million records set April 30, the challenge motivated more than 46,000 volunteers to index 10.3 million records in a single 24-hour period that began July 1 at 6:00 p.m. (MDT) — more than twice the previous record.
Most of the volunteers who participated are currently working to make the 1940 U.S. Census searchable for free online. 1940 U.S. Census Community Project partners Archives.com, FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, ProQuest.com and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) were ecstatic with the response to the challenge and had nothing but praise for those who participated.
“Apparently we set the goal too low,” said Mike Judson, volunteer development manager for the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. “We continue to be amazed by the number of compassionate volunteers donating their time so others can trace their family history. Their enthusiasm for indexing historic genealogical records to make them searchable online is astounding and incredibly gratifying.”
Indexing volunteers perform an invaluable service for anyone looking to identify branches of their family tree. Working online, volunteers view images of historic records and index the names, dates and places to make each individual searchable online. To ensure accuracy, two volunteers index each record and a third volunteer, known as an arbitrator, reviews any discrepancies and makes a final decision about the information that gets published.
Since the April 2 release of Census images by NARA, more than 140,000 volunteers have contributed to the cause. The project, totaling 132 million names of people living in the U.S. in 1940, is more than 84 percent complete and as a result, the records for 30 U.S. states are currently available online and freely searchable. For more information, visit https://the1940census.com.
More Volunteers Needed
Anyone above the age of 13 can volunteer to index historic records online. Indexers and arbitrators can work at their own pace, giving as much or as little time as they choose. Projects are available in a variety of languages and in a variety of skill levels. Most “batches” of indexing work can be accomplished in 45 minutes or less, which makes online indexing a popular community service option. The 1940 U.S. Census project is currently still available for any who want to try their hand at indexing census records.
About the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project
The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is a web-based, national service project with the goal of creating as soon as possible a free, high quality online index linked to the complete set of census images. The index will allow the public to easily search every person found in the census and view digital images of the original census pages. The collection will be available online for free to the general public at 1940census.archives.gov, Archives.com, FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com and by ProQuest through public and academic libraries. All of these organizations are respective website sponsors of the community project. Archives.com, findmypast.com, and ProQuest will make substantial financial contributions to make the 1940 U.S. census online name index possible and will work with the nonprofit organization FamilySearch to bring additional new historic records collections online—making even more highly valued family history resources available to the entire genealogical community.