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, we will begin uploading census images to our site so the public can browse them. 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. Note also that the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be accessible free of charge throughout 2012. 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.Once the indexes are finished anyone will be able to search by name and location. This will be a free service through 2012. I will let everyone know when they can start on their own. In the meantime, if you want me to hunt for family members, I will give it a trial run and let you know what I find. Just put your request in comments or send me an email.