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Gulnar Nagashybayeva, Business Reference Specialist, Science, Technology and Business Division
Note: Based on the guide by Angela Wilson, retired Business Reference Specialist, issued in Business and Economics Research Advisor (BERA), a quarterly publication of the Business Reference Section, Science, Technology & Business Division: Issue 15: Spring 2013.
Created: March 2013
Last Updated: April 2020
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The purpose of this guide is to assist researchers in identifying and locating selected U.S. decennial and economic census publications in the Library of Congress by connecting them to existing general reference publications and other census finding aids, in print and online, that provide additional information useful in identifying needed census reports from the very first Census of 1790 to the present day.
In the past few years the number of digitized publications has skyrocketed making it possible to find most of the historical census data online. Many of these publications can be found on the Census Bureau website as well as Hathi Trust Digital Library or the Internet Archive. Links to the digitized versions of the publications are added when available. Recent census data and publications are exclusively online—links to online resources are provided.
Please note that these reports do not include actual records with names; rather they are statistical data compilations based on the census records. The National Archives has census schedules on microfilm available from 1790 to 1940. Records with identifying information are not published until 72 years after the census day.
Although this guide lists print materials at the Library of Congress only, users should be aware of the Federal Depository Library Program that makes government information available to the public for free. Please check your local FDLP library to find census reports in print.
It is hoped that this guide will be used as a lead-in tool to resources offering additional information to aid in identifying the appropriate census data report for research needs. If you have any further questions, please Ask A Librarian.
Part of the Science, Technology & Business Division at the Library of Congress, Business Reference Services is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.