Begun in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has surveyed the population of the United States every ten years. Compilations based on the individual census surveys provide statistical population counts for states, counties, and other data, and are available in published form in the Government Documents Department. Portions of the 1990 census are also available in CD-ROM format.
Of particular interest to researchers are the original census surveys or population schedules. These are the bound books in which the census taker wrote down the names of the inhabitants of each house and - depending on the form used in the particular census year - their ages, birthdates, education, occupation, where they had lived before coming to a given state, and other details useful to historians and social scientists. These population schedules have been microfilmed, and the UWF Library owns the schedules from 1830 to 1910 for Florida as well as various years and counties for Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and other areas. While census compilations of statistics are released as soon as completed, the census population schedules are released 72 years after they are completed.
The latest at UWF are the 1920 schedules, released in 1988. A complete list is available in the Special Collections Department, located in the basement, and includes the schedules from 1790-1910. The Census of Population 1790-1980, is available in the Microfilm Room in drawer #1498. The Bibliography and Reel Index (Ref. HA 195 R4 1975) indexes the microfilm from 1790-1970. The 1980 microfilm is covered by a separate finding aid. The editions for 1990 and 2000 are available in the Documents Department and online at http://www.census.gov/.