The following announcement was sent to Olive Tree Genealogy from Ancestry.com
The National Archives and Records Administration will open the 1940
U.S. Federal Census on April 2, 2012—the first time this collection will
be made available to the public. Once we receive the census, Ancestry.com will
begin uploading census images to our site so the public can browse them. (Update from Lorine: Several states and their images are already online this morning)
Initially, this collection will be what we call a browse-only
collection. This means a person can scroll through the pages of the
census districts much like you would look at a microfilm or a book. At
the same time, we will be working behind the scenes to create an index
of the census that will eventually allow people to search for their
family members by name as they currently can with all other censuses on Ancestry.com.
Note also that the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be accessible free of charge throughout 2012 on Ancestry.com.
By the way, two key questions people have are how long will the upload
process take? and when will my state be ready. Unfortunately, until we
start the process we have no idea exactly how long it will be before all
images or a specific state will be uploaded.
We like to use this
analogy: think about how long it takes to upload all of the images on a
memory card onto a home computer. Now imagine that memory card holds 3.8
million, very-high-definition images. You get the picture.