The 1950 U.S. census will be released in April. Here’s how you can help create the searchable index

On April 1, the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States will make digital images of the 1950 U.S. census available to the world. 

Protected by law for 72 years, this long-awaited census will be the most comprehensive record set available of the more than 150 million people living in the U.S. during this post-World War II decade. 

FamilySearch announced its participation in the 1950 U.S. Census Community Project, Monday, Jan. 31. This national collaborative effort will use the internet, artificial intelligence and an army of volunteers to make these census records searchable online. 

How can I help?

The largest census undertaking to date, this crowdsourcing project is receiving support from FamilySearch, Ancestry.com and leading societal organizations to engage and coordinate the volunteer workforce needed. 

Ancestry will use handwriting recognition technology to scan the census images and make a functioning searchable index. Online volunteers on FamilySearch.org will then perform a comprehensive review of the computer-generated index to ensure it is accurate and complete. Volunteers can find a surname or location of personal interest to them as a starting point.

To stay on top of the project’s updates or to volunteer to help create the index, subscribe at FamilySearch.org/1950census.