MyHeritage has just announced that they have two million 1940 US Census images online, and the first searchable index.
From their press release:
MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web today, announced the availability of the first indexed records from the 1940 US Census, searchable for free by names, facts, and other criteria, on http://www.myheritage.com/1940census. In addition, MyHeritage has published two million images of the 1940 US Federal Census out of the total 3.8 million, with complete availability of all images expected in less than 24 hours.
The highly anticipated searchable indexed records and images are amongst the very first to appear on the Internet as millions of people rush to satisfy their curiosity and access one of the most significant and meaningful sets of historical records ever to be released. The first indexed records come from Bristol County in Rhode Island, with a deluge of additional records to be added by MyHeritage each day. The images currently available ... cover all of New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island, Missouri, Wyoming, and Nevada. Images for additional states are added every hour.
MyHeritage is the only provider to make the 1940 US census searchable in 38 languages. ... The census images are also currently available on the additional historical content sites owned by MyHeritage on http://worldvitalrecords.com/1940census/ and http://familylink.com/1940census/ - with initial searchable indexes expected to be live soon on these web sites, and to grow throughout 2012.
While genealogists around the world are searching for their relatives by using addresses to look up enumeration districts, then scanning through pages of records, previous US censuses have been indexed by several genealogy sites, including MyHeritage and WorldVitalRecords. MyHeritage is the first site to provide an online searchable name index of any 1940 US census records.
What this particular press release didn't mention is the search technology available at MyHeritage. As records are indexed, they will automatically match up the names to the people found in users' trees on their web site, alerting users to the census listings even before they may know the location has been indexed. The first states that MyHeritage made available for browsing on April 2nd were New York and Rhode Island.