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last updated: 7/15/2013

Data Pathfinders: Census (ET2)

The IUB Libraries' Government Information, Maps and Microform Services (also known as East Tower 2), located on the 2nd Floor of the Wells Library's East Tower, is an official depository of the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program and a participating Census Data Center. We have acquired publications from the U.S. Census Bureau dating from the first census in 1780 through the presnet. In addition we have collections of census publications from many other countries. For further information, contact ET2 staff at 812-855-6924 or email libet2@indiana.edu


Note: Some locations of print materials may have changed. Consult IUCAT for current locations.


Quick Links:


Licensed Databases for IU faculty, staff and students:

Simply Map
Web-based mapping application that lets users create professional-quality thematic maps and reports using demographic, business, and marketing data. Includes mapping applications, data including non-census marketing data, and consumer expenditures. Provides census data from 1980 to present at the block group level. Files may be downloaded in Excel or shape files.
Census CD Neighborhood Change Database
Provides instant access to U.S. Census data from 1970 through 2000 at the block group level.
Manuscript Census
Most years of the Census Schedules (i.e. original forms used to record individual information) are available through Ancestry: Library Edition
IUB Libraries retain Indiana Schedules for 1820-1930 on microfilm (HA361.5). Check with staff.
Census of Manufacturers and Census of Agriculture schedules exist for Indiana for only 1850-1880 and are available in the Wells Library, ET2 microfilm.

Other Links:

United States Historical Census Data
Available through the University of Virginia.
ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Indiana University is an institutional member.
Gelman Library Census Guide
Maintained by the Gelman Library System of the George Washington University.
University of Wisconson at Madison Census Resources Guide

About the U.S. Census

The mission of the U.S. Bureau of the Census is to To serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. For historical information about the census and the development of methodology since 1790, see one of the following:

Dubester's U.S. Census Bibliography with SuDocs Class Numbers and Indexes.
ET2 Wells Library Z7553 .C3 C66 1996 Reference Desk.
Provides a comprehensive list of publications issued by the Census Bureau, with description of content.
Factfinder for the Nation: History and Organization
Provides a brief history of the U.S. Census.
The history and growth of the United States census, prepared for the Senate committee on the census, by C. D. Wright ... assisted by W. C. Hunt ... Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1900.
Wright's remains our favorite history of the census.
200 years of U.S. Census Taking: Population and Housing Questions, 1790-1990.
Reviews each decennial census and provides copies of the questions asked. Updated in Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000.

Major Resources

As an official depository, IUB Libraries' Government Information, Maps and Microform Services has acquired most publications from the Census Bureau. To see if IUB owns a specific census publication, check IUCAT by title. While most should be listed, cataloging is still being added for many of the older documents.

Statistical Abstract of the United States
US Census version
ProQuest version
Provides an overview or abstract of statistical data. Excellent place to begin searching for statistical information. 1878 to date. Print copies of all years are available in ET2 Wells Library: C 3.164: year.
Decennial Census
The Constitution of the United States of America requires an "enumeration" of the population of the United States every 10 years for the apportionment of the House of Representatives. Print copies of all statistical publications are available in ET2 Wells Library: SuDocs Stacks under: C3 They are now also available in pdf and Excel from the Census Bureau
Economic Census
Questions related to business, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, government, transportation, and other "economic" fields have been asked since 1850. After 1940 they were gathered and presented separately.
United States Decennial Census Publications 1790-1970, microfilm edition
A brief reel guide to the microfilm edition of the Decennial Census.

For other Census publications or DVD/CD-ROM products, search IUCAT or consult the East Tower 2 staff at 855-6924 or libet2@indiana.edu. For older Geolytic products see: About Census CD.


Census Geography

The IUB Libraries own most maps published with the Census. In addition we have acquired Census Tract and Census Block Group Maps for 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. Check IUCAT or consult staff about specific map needs. See also: Geographic Resources at the Census Bureau for explanation of geographic aspects of census data or our Census Maps page which provides some digital census maps.


See also Apportionment Maps for Indiana at: http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=1002266



last updated: 7/15/2013