I just got a delivery of articles that I ordered from PERSI. 87 pages of genealogical material to go through looking for information that could help my research. I love getting new materials to go through, so this was like getting a packet of genealogical joy in my mailbox! Just browsing through it, I’ve already seen several more sources to look up.
What’s PERSI? It’s the PERiodical Source Index. The good people at the Allen County Public Library have been collecting genealogy and local history periodicals since the 1800s. Over the past decade or so, they’ve been indexing it by surname, location, and research methodologies (for how-to articles). There are nearly 1.8 million items in the index from thousands of publications.
You can search the index through HeritageQuest—available in a lot of libraries, sometimes with remote access—or Ancestry.com. Once you find something of interest, you can order copies of the article from the Allen County Public Library Foundation. There is a handling fee and a per page copying fee. All in all, I got 87 pages of materials for less than $25.00. The order form is available online or you can download a PDF. Simply print it, fill it out, write out a check, and send it to the address on the form. 6-to-8 weeks later you may get your own bundle of genealogical joy.