News and links about the release from NARA:
The National Archives today announced its selection of Inflection, parent company to family history web site Archives.com, to design and host a free web site for the April 2, 2012, at 9 AM (EST) launch of the 1940 U.S. Census. This is the first time that the National Archives has released a U.S. Census online.
On April 2, 2012, users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 Census schedules from their own computers or from the public computers at National Archives locations nationwide through the new 1940 Census web site, free of charge.
Please note, a name index will not exist when the information is first released in April. The National Archives has indexed the schedules by state, county, city, township or minor civil division, and enumeration district. Researchers can prepare for the launch by searching the 1940 Census maps and enumeration district descriptions in the National Archives’ Online Public Access catalog [www.archives.gov/research/search/], then browse the 1940 Census population schedules for that enumeration district.
For the release of the 1940 Census online, the National Archives has digitized the entire census, creating more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.
Read the Complete Announcement For More Information