Closing Bell: Connect to the 1940 Census


Yesterday the National Archives and Records Administration released the 1940s census, and some cool resources popped up to go along with it. First, the Brooklyn Navy Yard posted 1940s Navy Yard images on its website, via the NARA. And the NY Public Library released a handy online tool (above) to help people find their New York City relatives in the 1940 census. The program connects people to 1940 New York City phonebooks, digitized by the NYPL, where they can look anyone up by last name to find their address. They enter the address into a search field where they’ll get the census enumeration district number. They then click the number to go to the National Archives and Records Administration’s website, where they’ll find the correct section of the census. As the NYPL press release says, “It’s a great research tool, but it’s also meant to grow into something more. When you find an address, the tool pins it to both a 1940 map and a contemporary map, so you can see how the area has changed (buildings torn down, freeways put up, etc). You’re then invited to leave a note attached to the pin – memories, info about who lived there, what the neighborhood was like, questions – anything. As people use the site, we’ll build a cultural map of New York in 1940 that will assist both professional historians and laypeople alike. Users have already found New Yorkers including Mayor John Lindsay, Jackie Kennedy, and Jane Jacobs.” Start researching here!

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