Saturday, August 27, 2016


Find My Past announced yesterday their monthly updates to PERSI. There are 92,647 images added with 20 new publications that cover New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Lancashire England, Ireland and more places! Of course, there was already a lot there as they state there are over 2.5 million entries. This is a resource that I go to periodically to find articles, but will be diving into a lot more over the next few weeks, as I get ready to head for Indiana.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with PERSI, that is the acronym for the PERiodical Source Index that originated many years ago at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It used to be available on HeritageQuest, but as of about three years ago is now available through Find My Past. The older listings are still available at HeritageQuest through 2009. However, all the listings including the latest are on Find My Past. Also, with the change to the new website provider, there are some articles that are available directly from the database. It is no longer just an index from which you need to find the journal in which the article is in to get a copy. From what I understand, as time goes on, there will be even more available through the scanned images on the servers.
How do you get to the articles once you find one you are interested in if it’s not already available on their site? Well, here are the directions from their website:
“Alternatively, you might find the periodical in a library or other research repository in your area. Try searching your local library’s online catalog. If the title does not appear there, search OCLC’s WorldCat is the largest bibliographic database in the world, and can generate a list of libraries local to you that own a particular item.
Finally, you can engage the research services of the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center and order a copy of your periodical article. An “Article Request Form” can be completed at:
That second paragraph is why I always think of Allen County when I think of PERSI. When I was there three years ago, I had a list of many, many articles that I wanted to get copies of. Sure, I could look in my local library for these journals, or some of the libraries in the area just like that first paragraph mentions. However, I prepared that list knowing that in just a few days, I’d be on the road. The Genealogy Center has every journal available there that is indexed on PERSI. Why start looking to see which of several libraries or repositories might have the one I was interested in when I knew I’d be spending three days there and could just walk over to the shelf and grab the ones I was interested in. Convenience meant this was a fast and practical way to get these articles. What is more, there I can copy the articles if I wish, or insert a thumb-drive into the copier and get a digital copy! Less paper to carry home, less cost in paying for copies (digital is free!), and I don’t have to scan them later in order to add them to my files. A big win all the way around as far as I’m concerned.
This time while visiting the Genealogy Center I will probably be looking for less journal articles. I’ve already got a good many that I wanted from that previous trip. The fact that many are already available online means I’ll have less new ones to get. Also, I have a bit more Indiana and Michigan research that I want to concentrate on.

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