1940 Census Update � Simple Image Viewing And Fast Download

by Julie Hill

Posted on April 3, 2012

Our engineers have been working tirelessly throughout the night to improve the reliability of the 1940 census website and we've made some great progress.

Some highlights include:

  • Search and browse performance has been improved through additional optimizations
  • Thumbnails are now loading much more quickly for most census schedules
  • Downloading individual images and entire enumeration districts is very fast and reliable (this works best in FireFox and Chrome)
  • Full-sized static census schedules, maps and descriptions can now be viewed more reliably using the "View Full Screen" option.
  • Navigating to previous/next images within the Enumeration District is working, but a bit slow (we're working on improving performance as you read this)
  • The "Quick View" option has been temporarily removed as we focus attention on further optimizing the image loading process

Users should now be able to search for enumeration districts of interest and browse through those static images in the Full Screen mode. From here, you can either choose to download the entire set of images from that enumeration district, or browse through the census images and individually and download those you want.

  • Downloading all images in an Enumeration District will create a folder on your machine with an individual file for each census image
  • Downloading an individual image will allow you to view it instantly in your browser

The result is a much faster, more reliable way for you to browse (and find!) your ancestors on the only website that provides access to every single image from the 1940 census—1940census.archives.gov. And rest assured we're continuing to work on restoring the full-featured image viewer that enables dynamic zoom, contrast & brightness adjustment, and color inversion. We will restore the "Quick View" inline image viewing once these further optimizations are complete.

We will continue to post updates here as we get closer to re-enabling these features. To stay informed of the most up-to-date status, you can follow @1940censusnews and @Archivescom on Twitter, and subscribe to this blog.

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