Federal News Radio published an interesting article today concerning the National Archives and Records Administration's efforts to place documents online for genealogists, historians, and others. The article appears to be a follow-up to the brief announcement from the National Archives that I published last week under the title of NARA Launches an Online Public Access Prototype at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2010/12/nara-launches-an-online-public-access-prototype.html.
The latest article from Federal News Radio adds numerous details but the one item that really caught my eye is the one statement, "NARA will make public the 1940 Census data and receive about 40 terabytes of electronic records from agencies in 2011 significantly increasing their electronic holdings."
In 2011? I suspect that is a typo, as Federal laws prohibit the release of that information until some time in 2012. I might guess that NARA might RECEIVE the data in 2011 but not make it public until the following year.
However, the bigger question, in my mind, is if the National Archives will release the 1940 census records directly on NARA's own web site rather than working with commercial companies as the agency has done in the past. If so, those records would be available free of charge. Also, the same article states that "Users can export the results as a HTML, a XML or a text file."
I suspect we all need a few more details.
You can read the full article at http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=35&sid=2222412 or listen to an audio broadcast at http://media.bonnint.net/wtop/20/2048/204845.mp3
My thanks to Marie Melchiori for telling me about this new article.