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NARA expects to digitally release the 1950 population census schedules for researcher use on April 1, 2022, which is 72 years after the official 1950 census day of April 1, 1950. This is the 24th in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census.


Earlier this year the blog post, “1950 Census:  It Took More Than 148,000 People to Make it Happen!” examined the training schedule - shown below - that preceded the taking of the 1950 census.


Technical Training Program - 1950 Census:  Training Planning Schedule

Item, "Technical Training Program - 1950 Census" from "[Folder 2] Flow Charts, 17th Decennial Census, 1950" (NAID 195980236), in series "Narrative Histories, Committee Minutes, and Procedural Manuals Primarily Relating to the 17th Decennial Census" (NAID 5634057).


Some 26 chief instructors spent two weeks in Washington, DC, learning everything there was to know about the forthcoming census.  Those 26 then taught 400 instructors the same material at classes held at Washington, DC (actually Suitland, Maryland); Saint Louis, Missouri; and San Francisco (actually Alameda), California.  Of the 400, it was expected that 360 would be available to teach the 8,300 crew leaders who ultimately instructed 140,000 enumerators how to do the job.


Who were the men and women that attended “instructors schools”?  It’s not a secret.  Their names are in a file called “Rosters of Persons Attending Classes” (National Archives Identifier 206240427).  Most were employees of the Census Bureau or the Department of Agriculture, but there were also a few university personnel.  The rosters usually indicate each person’s name; employer; city and state of residence; location of training school; and the dates attended.  The lists include a few names crossed out that indicates persons who planned to attend but did not.  Some people are on more than one list. The image below shows one out of 31 pages in this file.


Instructors Class Starting Feb. 20, 1950, St. Louis, MO

(Image 3 of 31 from "Binder 60-C - Rosters of Persons Attending Instructor Classes (NAID 206240427); series "17th Decennial Census Reference Materials" (NAID 2990119); Record Group 29, Records of the Bureau of the Census.

Instructors class starting Feb. 20, 1950, Saint Louis, Missouri



This file of rosters of persons attending instructor classes has been digitized and is available for researcher use in the National Archives Catalog at  Perhaps you'll find a name of interest to you.