Was it really more than six months ago that subscription/pay-per-view genealogy website findmypast.com announced it planned to add the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) to its databases—and better yet, link each entry to an image of the original article it refers to? Time flies!
PERSI, created by librarians at the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library Genealogy Center, is an index to thousands of historical, genealogical and ethnic journals and magazines. Most cover the United States and Canada, but some cover Britain, Ireland and Australia.
The database on findmypast.com includes 2.5 million index entries, and it will be updated on a quarterly basis. Some entries link to the digitized articles, including the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1871-1920, and more will be added over time. A partnership with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to preserve society publications is making this effort possible.
When I’ve searched PERSI in teh past, I’ve found it difficult to determine if the source article was about my relative or someone else, and what type of information the article contained. How great would it be to just click and read the full article online?
You can search PERSI on findmypast.com by last name, place and/or keyword, and matches include the article title, periodical title and year the article was published. You can click for more information or the digitized article, if you’re a findmypast.com subscriber or have pay-as-you-go credits.
Don’t limit yourself to name searches, because genealogical society publications often contain descriptions of unique local resources, but not necessarily indexes. Try searching PERSI just by place and/or with a keyword, such as a church your family attended or a place a relative worked.
For PERSI entries that don’t link to source articles, you can order copies from the Genealogy Center (click the Services tab).