Rebecca Smith
KU Libraries

Media advisory: Library experts can speak about online 1940 census data

Fri, 03/30/2012
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LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries have three experts available to speak with media about the National Archives’ online release of 1940 U.S. Census data. A wealth of information from that year’s census will be made available online and is highly anticipated by historians and genealogy researchers.

The 1940 census, which will be the first-ever online U.S. census release, will go live Monday, April 2. The information will be available at and will include information that is key to sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists. The 1940 data is important not only because it will in many ways tell the story of the Great Depression. Information on salaries in 1939, how many people were still working for relief agencies and migration patterns from 1930 to 1940 will be evident.

Sara Morris is KU Libraries’ American history subject librarian. She can speak about the significance of the survey data and how digital access to materials such as the census records is not only changing how historians conduct research, but their view of the past.

Carmen Orth-Alfie is KU Libraries’ government information librarian. She can speak about how government uses census data, its original purpose and value outside of a government dynamic.

Sheila Orth is interlibrary loan borrowing coordinator in resource sharing. She has been familiar with census data since the 1980s, when she worked in the Government Documents department at KU Libraries, helping researchers use statistical information from the U.S. Census. She has been involved in genealogical research since, and is familiar with the major online census databases.

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