Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
1940 Census Curiosity Seekers Crash Website Creeping on Data
Genealogy buffs and general curiosity seekers were thrilled when they were given access to the data culled in the 1940 census- so much so that demand when the information was made public crashed the US National Archives’ website for much of the day.
On Google, the top search tonight is “1940 census,” and the information has been released after a mandated 72-year-long waiting period to protect the data of those included in the survey. Between 9AM and 5PM today, more than 37 million hits were recorded by the National Archives, and through much of the afternoon, the agency’s Twitter feed addressed demand that the site could not meet. @USNatArchives tweeted:
While new servers are coming up, refresh your browser if you have a page that seems to have stalled. Thx for your patience! …We’ll let you know as soon as we have another update–thank you for your patience, we know it’s incredibly frustrating
It seems the National Archives were a bit red-faced at the crashes all day, but spokeswoman Susan Cooper said that no one predicted such a tremendously large response to the data dump for the 1940 Census:
“We were assured we could accommodate a large number of people, but I don’t think anybody anticipated the absolutely enormous response we got in the first couple of hours.”
Estimates say more than 21 million Americans included in the 1940 census are still living, with one in six Americans counted in the 1940 census still alive today.