The National Archives & Records Administration has announced that the 1940 U.S. Federal Population Schedule to be released to the public April 2, 2012, will not be available on microfilm as it has been in the past. To go along with the technological times, the census will be at first released digitally only on the NARA website.
The good news is that access to the census will be free. The bad news is that there will be no index accompanying the images. Indexing will no doubt be conducted later by Ancestry.com or perhaps the Family History Center, but in the short run, browsing will be the only option.
Special censuses of Housing and Agriculture were taken along with the population schedules, but were subsequently destroyed.
The NARA has created an informative website that answers questions about the 1940 census and includes recommendations for researchers in preparation of its release. You may view videos that were released to the public prior to the taking of the census encouraging the public to participate. A complete list of questions asked, enumeration district descriptions and finding aids, and other general information is included.