An article (The Republican/MassLive.com) by John P. O’Connor, about a fairly amazing database he put together to aid genealogists might interest you (and maybe generate some interest in people doing the same in other communities):
Excerpt from the article:
For the past 20 years, I have been working on a database using the 1880 U.S. Census of Springfield. I entered the names of all heads of household, whether married, widowed or single, ages in 1880 and states or countries of origin. All records were cross-referenced with birth, marriage and death records, as well as cemetery records resulting in a database with about 185,000 entries.
“John P. O’Connor is a family historian at Connecticut Valley Historical Museum Genealogy Library at the Quadrangle in Springfield.”
That would be an incredibly neat thing to do for a community, and even if you couldn’t do it yourself, perhaps a group project revolving around this would work out, i.e., divide up a particular census for a particular area into 20-30 pages, and as you finish them, you submit them to somebody who manages the database.
I’m going to email Mr O’Connor and ask how he set it up, and what software he used.