Periodical Source Index (PERSI) the creation of the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, inventories titles of genealogical periodicals from around the world. It is not an index to what is in the articles, simply an inventory of titles and subjects.
The ACPL has the world’s largest collection of genealogical periodicals. It is larger than the huge periodical collection at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. ACPL’s collections are so large that people take research trips specifically to Fort Wayne to utilize them.
PERSI is now hosted by Findmypast. Whenever a database switches hosts there is always a learning curb. Here’s how I approach the current quirks in the Findmypast database:
- I go to the “Search” button at the top and then click on the “A-Z of Record Sets.”
- Then I type in “Periodical Source Index” and it will come right up.
- Once in the database, I find “article keyword” or “optional keyword.” It actually works better than “subject.” I’ve found the “subject” doesn’t always pull up all the articles on a topic. These have to be worked along with the geographical search.
- A word of caution about the places. I try not to be too specific, a state/province and a county work just fine. Also, be aware you have to wait for the standardized place name, such as Illinois, to come up and then click it. Don’t rush through this.
Once you have narrowed your search geographically and by “keyword” all articles should reveal themselves. This is the magic of PERSI. Now you find a copy of that particular volume and issue of the journal. PERSI will give you major repositories that house a given journal.
As a professional genealogist, I use PERSI on a regular basis. There I find articles that transcribe cemeteries, tax lists, church registers and more. Many of which are not on microfilm or published in a book somewhere. It is like a hidden library that nobody but PERSI ever told you about! There is no way to know how helpful a particular article will be until you find a copy of and study it.
Give PERSI a try at Findmypast and see if you can make some discoveries of your own.
If you would like help with your genealogy please call 385-214-0925.