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 is widely recognized as a vital tool for genealogical researchers. PERSI indexes articles in 11,000 periodical titles (including 3,000 defunct titles) published by thousands of local, state, national and international societies and organizations, arranging 2.25 million entries by surname or location and 22 basic subject headings. An important tool for genealogists looking for new avenues of investigation, PERSI’s usefulness is not limited to family history researchers. Local historians and academics, archaeologists and demographers, as well as students from elementary to graduate school and beyond, will all find PERSI an important asset in their research.
The PERSI project began in 1986 with efforts directed at indexing both “current” issues, to be published in annual volumes, and “retrospective” issues, to be published in a 16 volume set covering 1847-1985. The Family History Library made the 16 volume set available on microfiche, but the print volumes provided the principal access for researchers until Ancestry began to briefly issue CDs containing the entire retro set, all annual volumes, plus additional pre-1986 material.
In 1997, the last year for which an annual print volume was produced, PERSI was made available as an online database at Ancestry.com $. However, it is no longer available at that site.
PERSI is searchable at HeritageQuestOnline.com. (Available only to organizational subscriptions)
Under the auspices of the ACPL Foundation, the project currently employs a staff of eight, including a full-time supervisor and assistant supervisor, as well as part-time encoders (indexers), editors, and request fulfillment personnel.
PERSI is also available and searchable at FindMyPast.com $.The last statement is significant. Findmypast.com has been adding both links and document images to the program. If you monitor the findmypast.com blog, you will see announcements concerning newly added images from time to time. Both the links and the images enhance the value of this already valuable resource. Here is a screenshot of the findmypast.com website showing the search page for the PERSI: