After www.Archives.com was announced as the National Archives partner to host the 1940 U.S. Census images back in mid-November, I asked Julie Hill of Archives.com if she could answer the questions that I had about the announcement, the 1940 U.S. Census, and the Archives.com effort. Here are my questions and Julie's answers (all via email):
RS: Will Archives.com have to increase their hardware investment (e.g., servers, drives) to provide the requested service times and volume specified in the NARA contract?
RS: Will Archives.com create an every name index for the 1940 U.S. census? If so, when will that work begin?
RS: If Archives.com does not create an index, will you partner with another company that is creating an index?
RS: When do you expect a complete every name index of the 1940 U.S. census to be available?
RS: Will the index on Archives.com be free also, or will it behind the subscription wall?
RS: In the time between when the images are available (2 April 2012) and when the complete index is available, how will Archives.com guide researchers to find their research targets?
RS: Have you been consulting with Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub on this? I'm sure you know that they have put an ED Finding Aid on the www.stevemorse.org web site.