PERSI, aka the Periodical Source Index, may be about to go from one of the best most-overlooked genealogy resources to one of the best most-used.
Brightsolid, the British company behind findmypast.com and other genealogy websites, has agreed with PERSI’s creators at the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library (ACPL) to publish the index—and the company plans to make each index entry link to an image of the article it refers to.
Let’s back up for a minute and talk about PERSI: It’s an index to articles in thousands of genealogy and local history periodicals published in the US and Canada back to 1800. Any of which could contain information that helps you with a family or place you’re researching
Allen County librarians began creating PERSI in 1986. It now has about 2.5 million citations and adds 100,000 per year, according to the Journal Gazette.
The index was made searchable on Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest Online (which has a more recent version you can search at libraries that offer HeritageQuest Online). You can run a search, and then if you find an index entry that mentions a family or place of interest, you can order a copy of the article from ACPL.
That’s been the only way for you to access all those genealogy periodicals. You know, unless you want to subscribe to all of them, and then read them. And then find the periodicals no longer in publication, and read those, too.
Until now. If brightsolid can secure permission from publishers, findmypast.com subscribers will be able to search for articles related to their ancestors, and then link to digitized images of the articles. That can’t happen soon enough as far as I’m concerned.
Don’t want to wait? Learn how to use PERSI and other databases in HeritageQuest Online (including family and local histories, censuses and military records) with our HeritageQuest Online Web Guide.