The first formal "history" program at the U.S. Census Bureau began in the early 1950s by Morris Ullman, then chief of the Statistical Reports Section under Morris Hansen, Assistant Director for Statistical Standards. Ullman oversaw the compilation of a "procedural history" of the 1950 Census of Population and Housing.
In February 1960, Edwin D. Goldfield, then chief of the Statistical Reports Division, designated statistician Phyllis Carter as the Census Bureau's "census historian." Carter published the 1960 Censuses of Population and Housing: Procedural History in March 1966 under the direction of Conrad Taeuber, Assistant Director for Demographic Fields; Morris H. Hansen, Assistant Director for Research and Development; and Edwin D. Goldfield, Chief and William Lerner, Assistant Chief, Stastistical Reports Division.
Thereafter, Carter became chief of the Technical Reports Branch, which effectively functioned as a history staff, producing the 1963 Economic Census: Procedural History written by Elma Beynon in August 1968. When Elma Benyon and Florence R. Haimes published the 1964 United States Census of Agriculture: Procedural History [6MB PDF] in December 1968, the office had been renamed the History and Research Reports Branch.
In 1972, when the office was renamed the Census History Staff, it employed a branch chief and decennial, economic, and agriculture census historians. In 1983, an oral history program was added and the history staff began conducting interviews with retired and former directors and senior Census Bureau management.
Today, the history staff continues to publish procedural histories of the economic censuses as well as the histories of the decennial censuses and the American Community Survey. (The procedural histories of the agriculture censuses have been written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 1997.)
In addition to procedural histories, the staff's historians develop and maintain the Census Bureau's history website and participate in conferences and meetings related to census history and genealogy.