Due to a lack of funding the Jefferson County Library Cooperative had to drop HeritageQuest from the Alabama Virtual Library. The good news is that patrons can now access HeritageQuest through the library's website as a result of a donation from the Friends of the Bessemer Public Library. Under the Reference heading, click onto HeritageQuest and follow the directions.
The 1940 Census records were released by the U.S. National Archives on April 2, 2012 and brought online through a partnership with Archives.com. The website 1940census.archives.gov allows you full access to the 1940 Census images in addition to 1940 Census maps and descriptions.
You cannot look up people by name, however, because the census has not yet been indexed by name. Therefore, only searches by location and enumeration district are currently possible.
The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is a volunteer initiative currently underway to make a name-index
available for free.