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Microfilmed copies of the Census schedules from 1 790 to 1920 (1 930 after April 1, 2002) are available at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC; at the National Archives Regional Offices (see Appendix A); and through the National Archives Microfilm Rental Program.

Title 44, U.S. Code, allows the public to use the National Archives' census record holdings after 72 years, thus the 1 790 to 1 920 records are available to the public on microfilm from the National Archives. After April 1, 2002, individual records from the 1930 census will be made available. The U.S. Census Bureau holds only the records for 1 930 through 2000 (after April 1, 2000, the Census Bureau will hold census records from 1 940 to 2000). The agency's Personal Census Search Unit, in Jeffersonville, IN, maintains and searches these records, which are confidential by law (Title 13, U.S. Code).'

As a result of fire, damage, or other loss, census records on microfilm are not entirely complete. The most notable gap in coverage is for 1 890. As a result of a 1921 fire at the Department of Commerce, surviving records are limited to portions of Alabama, the District of Columbia,

'A form BC-600, "Application for Search of Census Records," is required to obtain census records still held by the Census Bureau. This application can be downloaded, using Adobe Acrobat from the following address:

Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North
Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas plus the special
1 890 schedules enumerating Union veterans of the Civil
War and their widows for Kentucky and Wyoming (See
Appendix C).

Figure 1 shows the decennial population schedules from
1 790 through 1920, together with SOUNDEX indexes for
1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920, for which microfilmed cop-
ies are available for public use through the National
Archives, its regional branches, and at libraries in various
parts of the country. (Pursuant to Title 44, U.S. Code, the
National Archives will open the 1930 records to the public
after April 1, 2002). The National Archives sells or rents
the microfilm publications listed on the chart to individu-
als and institutions, and some libraries are willing to
release copies through interlibrary loan. The National
Archives periodically issues catalogs for use in ordering
the microfilm and publishes checklists of institutional
holdings. See the bibliography

Electronic data processing. In the mid-1 940s, the Census Bureau and scientists from the National Bureau of Standards began studying the use of electronic computers for large-scale data processing. In 1951, the Census Bureau acquired the UNIVAC 1 built according to the Census Bureau's requirements and experimental processing began following the 1 950 census. Together with a second UNIVAC, tabulations were successfully completed for a number of programs, including the majority of the 1 954 Economic Census.


Measuring America

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