Frozen film and FOSDIC forms: Restoring the 1960 U.S. Census of population and housing

Steven Ruggles, Matthew Schroeder, Natasha Rivers, J. Trent Alexander, Todd K. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors describe a collaboration of the Minnesota Population Center (MPC), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the National Archives and Records Administration to restore the lost data from the 1960 Census. The data survived on refrigerated microfilm in a cave in Lenexa, Kansas. The MPC is now converting the data to usable form. Once the restored data are processed, the authors intend to develop three new data sources based on the 1960 census. These data will replace the most inadequate sample in the series of public-use census microdata spanning the years from 1850 to 2000, extend the chronological scope of the public census summary files, and provide a powerful new resource for the Census Bureau and its Research Data Centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalHistorical Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Minnesota Population Center
  • census
  • data recovery
  • demography
  • microdata
  • public-use sample


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