The 1940 U.S. Census for Arkansas has arrived at the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Public Library's Genealogy Department in microfilm format. This microfilm will complete the library's holding of census covering the years 1830-1940.

The 1940 U.S. Census for Arkansas has arrived at the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Public Library’s Genealogy Department in microfilm format. This microfilm will complete the library’s holding of census covering the years 1830-1940.

Library Director Michael Sawyer said using microfilm for the 1940 census is easier to browse than loading pages on a website.

Since 1790, the United States has conducted a national census every 10 years. The data is used to redraw legislative districts and appropriate money, among many other things. The data then is held for 72 years because of privacy laws. However, the census is not just about statistics; it is also a detailed snapshot of America at a specific point in time.

The 1940 census can also be viewed online at the National Archives’ special site, 1940census.archives.gov. Use of this site is free, and findings can be downloaded, however information is not indexed by names. You’ll have to look up family and friends by where they lived via “enumeration district.”

At the library, staff will assist visitors with the 1940 census on microfilm.