Part two in our series on getting ready for the release of the 1940 census is a guest post from census preparedness expert Ida Searcher:
I was inspired to become a census preparedness expert 10 years ago, after seeing woefully underprepared genealogists try to use the 1930 census.
Why, so many of them were waiting in line at the library without basics like tents, Bunsen burners or crossword puzzles. And watching them scroll microfilm without Dramamine—well, it was downright painful.
You’ll need different supplies for the 1940 census, as this release is entirely digital and you’ll be examining the records on a computer.
Under no circumstances should you start your 1940 census research without these nine absolute must-haves:
1. An atomic clock to precisely signal the 9 a.m. ET release of the 1940 census records.
2. Extra batteries for your mouse. Be sure to practice changing them fast, the way they change the tires on race cars. You don’t want to lose census time on silly things like dead batteries.
3. A Netflix account for the kids. You can get 99 episodes of Sponge Bob on Netflix. That’s 99 half-hours of uninterrupted census work. You can always smarten them back up later with some books or something.
4. A cardboard cutout of yourself to keep your spouse company while you’re spending quality time with your computer. This is the kind thing to do.
5. A hands-free helmet hydration system. No need to pause in your scrolling to pick up a glass of water.
6. Peanut m&ms for sustenance (peanuts = protein).
7. An alarm clock to remind you to eat the m&ms.
8. No-Doze (it’s not just for college students anymore). Stock up now before your local drugstore is overrun with census-checking grannies. You don’t want to have to knock over those grannies.
9. Vitamin D pills. Let’s face it: You’re not going to be seeing the sun anytime soon. That’s okay, though. Vampires are very “in” these days. You’re like a census vampire.
Um, thank you, Ida. I’m sure readers are rushing to the store right now.
Next up, we offer phrases you’ll want to memorize in case your boss catches you searching the 1940 census at work.