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HISTORY 491 Race, Local History, and Sundown Towns

Resources for finding historical census data for HIST491 taught by Professor Stephen Berrey Winter 2024

Library Contact

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Catherine Morse
Government Information, Law and Political Science Librarian

Clark Library

Hatcher Graduate Library 2 South

Decennial Census Questionnaires

About Historical Census Data

Historical data from the Census can be more difficult to find and use than current data. Census methods have changed, and questions have altered over the years. If you are looking for historical data, here are some sources that might help you.

Finding Historical Census Data on Small Towns

If you want to use the print volumes the historical census collection is in the Hatcher Library, in the North Stacks on floor Basement A
The call number is HA 201 [decennial census year]

Digitized Census Schedules

The Census Schedules or the Enumeration Schedules are the handwritten forms that were filled out by census takers. These forms have been microfilmed and digitized. The National Archives and Records Administration digitized the 1940 census schedules. Private companies like Ancestry have digitized the others.

NARA maintains a list of links for searching schedules online 


Another option is MyHeritage which allows you to lookup individuals to see their census schedule for decennial censuses that are more than 72 years old