Periodical Source Index (PERSI)

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Search PERSI Online[edit | edit source]

Search Index[edit | edit source]

  • PERSI at Allen County Public Library - Genealogy Center - Index is free; copies of articles in periodicals $

Obtain Copy of Article[edit | edit source]

Order a Copy of the Article[edit | edit source]

  • Article title
  • Periodical title
  • Year published
  • Publisher
  • Note: Send a screen shot of the results list stating which articles you wish to get a copy

Obtain a Copy of Article While at Allen County Public Library[edit | edit source]

Use the instructions below, In Person at Allen County Public Library.

How to Use PERSI[edit | edit source]

Searching PERSI While at Allen County Public Library Website[edit | edit source]

Searching PERSI[edit | edit source]

The following search options are available:


List of Record Types in Research Technique[edit | edit source]

  • Biography: more than three main people
  • Cemeteries: listings, history, lot owners, plot maps, photos
  • Census Records: federal, state, municipal
  • Church Records: histories, records, directories, photos
  • Court Records: civil, criminal, licenses
  • Deeds: only deeds (can include slaves)
  • Directories: city, county, atlas directories, business or manufacturing
  • Families: Bible records
  • History: narratives on localities, companies, houses, ethnic groups
  • Institutions: orphanages, hospitals, poor farms, prisons, photos
  • Land Records: anything pertaining to land that is not a deed
  • Maps: migration trails, county boundary changes, plats
  • Military Records: muster rolls, regimental histories, troop movements, photos
  • Naturalization: declarations of intent, petitions, naturalizations
  • Obituaries: full obituaries, death notices
  • Other Records (Misc.): archaeology, extracted local newspaper items, photos and other articles not belonging to another record type
  • Passenger Lists: ship histories, travel experiences, lists
  • Probate Records: administrations, guardianships, apprentice documents
  • School Records: attendance, student lists, histories, teams, photos
  • Tax Records: personal, property, income
  • Vital Records: births, marriages, deaths, coroner inquests, funeral homes
  • Voter Records: lists, elections, election procedures
  • Wills: indexes, abstracts, transcriptions (can include slaves)

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world, created by the staff of the Allen County Public Library Foundation and the ACPL’s Genealogy Center. PERSI indexes articles in periodical titles (including defunct titles) published by thousands of local, state, national and international societies and organizations. It is arranged by surname or location and also by basic subject headings.

Contents[edit | edit source]

Understanding a few things about the contents of PERSI will help produce maximum success with minimum effort.

  • PERSI is a subject index to articles, not an every name or every word index. Entries are by:
    - Location and record type;
    - Surname as subject; or
    - How-to topic.
  • Findmypast is adding digital copies of periodicals PERSI indexes (must have a subscription or user pay-per-view credits)
  • PERSI does not cover surname periodicals and does not normally include queries, charts, fiction, cartoons, or poetry.
  • The article title listed in the citation may not be the actual title as it appears in the periodical. Article titles are not always descriptive, so encoders sometimes alter them to include the actual subject or time period.
  • PERSI has evolved over the years. Originally limited to 50 characters, article title entries can now be 150 characters, allowing for a fuller description that can assist the researcher in identifying useful sources.
  • Abbreviations are used often, but not always. States are abbreviated by their postal codes; religious dominations may be abbreviated by standard three, four or five letter designations; and organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic are identified by their initials.
  • Terminology and spelling can change with location. For example, a “railroad” in the United States may be a “railway” in Canada. Similarly, a large group of working people in England may be identified as “labour,” instead of the American “labor.”
  • An article title in French, Spanish, German, Dutch, etc., indicates an article in that language.
  • More than 60 people have been employed by the project over the years. Although guidelines have improved in this time, the encoding process remains a very subjective one. Encoders and editors strive to make citations as user-friendly as possible, but researchers must also exercise creativity in their searches.

What PERSI does not index[edit | edit source]

  • Every name in every article
  • Queries, ancestor charts, family group sheets
  • Society officers, membership lists, meeting notices
  • Book and computer software reviews
  • Surname journals and newsletters
  • Page numbers

Finding the Article[edit | edit source]

In Person at Allen County Public Library[edit | edit source]

Since PERSI is created at the Allen County Public Library, the Genealogy Center has a copy of every periodical issue covered by the index. Periodicals are bound into volumes and cataloged, usually acquiring a location-based call number, but occasionally one assigned to an ethnic group or other subject focus. This puts bound periodicals on the shelves beside other books on the same subject, making it easy to find many of them simply by browsing the shelves. For example, periodicals published by a particular county historical society will be on the shelf with other books about that county. The call number and location of books on any county can be readily determined by referring to the Genealogy Center’s stack guide. The call number for any periodical title can also be identified, even in advance of a research visit, by checking the library's catalog online at The Genealogy Center's website. A few keywords from the periodical title entered into the box next to “magazines” on the advanced search screen will usually find what you want. Periodical issues that are not yet bound are filed in alphabetical order in cardboard boxes along the east wall of the Eastern Reading Room. If a periodical title cannot be located in the catalog, or if a specific issue cannot be found on the shelf, please contact a staff member for assistance.

Using ACPL Article Copy Service[edit | edit source]

The ACPL Foundation offers an article copying service for a fee those unable to visit or access the periodicals elsewhere.

Articles at the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

Articles may be found at the Family History Library. With the name of the periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog to see if there is a copy in their collection. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. United States periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a title and keyword search'

  • Title: Search of the title of the periodical
  • Keyword: Search for the publishing society name.

Through Other Sources[edit | edit source]

Before ordering copies of articles through the Genealogy Center at Allen County Library, check to see if the periodical is available on-line.  Some organizations may provide copies of their publications in PDF format for a small fee, or free. Older publications may be available digitally through Google Books. The ability to search full text can make the on-line versions even more valuable than printed copies.

References[edit | edit source]