So many people have headed to the National Archives and Records Administration’s online posting of the 1940 Census right after the site launched Monday at 9 a.m. that it crashed almost immediately. According to a tweet from the National Archives Monday night, the site got 22.5 million hits from around 1.9 million users by mid-afternoon after going live at 9 a.m.
The site is back up and running smoothly as of Tuesday morning, and the National Archives Web site indicated that it would be making Web site improvements throughout the day.
If you want to find something — or someone — in the 1940 Census, there are two easy steps you have to follow.
First, you have to know, roughly, where you want to look. The census is organized by what’s called an “enumeration district,” which is the way that the U.S. census divides the country. To do that, the National Archives site has a tool that lets you focus in on the state, county and — in some cases — street level of any part of the country.