Monday, April 2, 2012

My Big Census Day

At my computer waiting for images to load.

Well what a day!!  

Today was the long awaited day----the 1940 census was here! I got up early as I was also expecting someone from USA Today to come and document my census experience. How exciting!

Well the photographer arrived on time, and set up all of the fancy equipment and got the lighting adjusted as well.

And once the countdown came and 9 am finally came, and I immediately got onto the page for the 1940 census.

Heading for the Archives site holding census images

I was quite anxious to see my dear mother in the 1940 census. Also I was anxious to see my dad. They were both in Arkansas, but had not yet met, so she would be in Pulaski County Arkansas, and he would be in Sebastian County Arkansas.

The site was easy to navigate and plug in the data that I needed.

And things began to happen.

So I waited....and then something else happened.

A bit of animation did appear indicating that things were churning.....

Animated icon twirled on the screen as image loaded

Well, while waiting, I was interviewed and got to share my experiences on what the records would reveal, and what I hoped to find on those records. I also spoke to the reporter for the follow up. She was surprised that the system had crashed.  

The wait continued.................

In the meantime I did look at the images that was unfolding at the same time, bit by bit for indexing. Their images came in clearly, while the complete collection of the 1940 census was still loading.

Image Courtsey of USA Today.
Reporter: Haya El Nasser, USA Today
Photographer, Doug Kapustin

(To read entire article click on image)

So, my day with the 1940 census brought some disappointments. The demand on the servers was enormous with over 20 million people on the site immediately. Subsequently, the servers could not handle the demand. 

I tried several hours later, and I do appear to be making some progress, as now I am getting thumbnail images 
of the pages.

Thumbnail images are now showing, so perhaps we are a little bit closer

So, my big census day ends quietly with no images of the long awaited pages, but with some promise that tomorrow will be a brighter day. 


Nicka said...

Hi Ms. Angela! The only way I could actually get to an image was to use this advice, posted by DearMYRTLE -"The best advice from Amy Johnson Crow, an official from the company that built the website is:

Download rather than view an census image page online.

WHERE do you click to download? In the screen shot below, while you are watching those "swirling circles" click and select "download" from the popup menu."

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Hello Nicka,

If you get that small animated object twirling around or if you get the thumbnail image, you can simply hover your mouse over it and see the words, "Quick View" "Full Screen" or "Download". I have tried it and it does not load any faster either. But keep trying. I hope you have some success.

Root Digger said...

Hi Angela,

Can't wait to hear about your progress. I won't have the opportunity to search and index until the 10th, but look forward to hearing about your success!!

Renate Yarborough Sanders said...

Hey Angela,
Great post, and great article in USA Today! I know we'll all be back at it, tomorrow, although perhaps with a bit less

I was on the chat with Nicka earlier, and unfortunately, the download option didn't work for me. I really think that part of it is that people's browsers are responding differently. Whatever it is, it will pass, and we will strike "gold" sooner or later!

I'll see you back here in the morning!


Christina George said...

I've been having the same problem all day & night. About an hour or so ago I found a great way to 'get in'. After you click on "census schedules" you will see the little swirly circle thing going. Even if the image doesn't appear click. The menu should appear. Select view full image. While the full image screen loads, go directly to "download" (top right). You have to select 'standard' or 'high' resoluation and 'just this page' or 'entire document'. I always select HIGH and ENTIRE DOCUMENT. About 30-60 seconds later a ZIP FILE window pops open for me and I can download the entire ED!!! MAGICAL! LOL! Good luck to you!