PERSI is the acronym for the
Periodical Source Index maintained by the Genealogy Department
of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
PERSI is the largest subject index of genealogical and local
history articles ever compiled in one source. Prior to the
inception of the project in 1999, genealogists were dependant
on sources such as the Genealogical Periodical Source Index
published annually. This was a very useful tool when and
where you could find it. Its availability in libraries was
limited. The concept of the Internet as we know it today was
also limited in scope and availability to researchers.
Michael Clegg, a member of the reference staff at Allen County
Library, developed the idea of PERSI. More than 1,750,000
genealogical articles have been added to the database since
its inception in 1999.
PERSI is a comprehensive
source covering genealogy and local history periodicals
written in English and French (taking French speaking areas of
Canada into consideration) since 1800 which cover people,
places, events, and records from the late 1600's to the
present. Curt Witcher, library director of Allen County
Public Library, has estimated that thousands of genealogists
access PERSI via their home PC's or at library research
facilities on a daily basis. Access was primarily available
via the search site of ANCESTRY.com until recently. Heritage
Quest has now taken over this primary access function.
Patrons may access PERSI via the Heritage Quest on our library
home page at
www.lee-county.com/library using the following steps:
1. Click on the icon for "Internet Links We Recommend
2. Click on the icon for "Electronic Resources"
3. Scroll down you see the entry for "Heritage Quest" and
click on the icon
4. Click on the icon for "Search PERSI"
PERSI provides the researcher with the ability to search
surnames, locations, methodologies, as well as browsing
journals by title and keyword. PERSI citations are broken down
into the following categories:
1. Surname citations: Used
for articles describing families or particular ancestors
2. Locality citations: Used for articles describing research
records, history of a particular town., etc.
3. "How to" citations: Used for articles describing particular
tips and techniques for research
Accompanying the article citations is an extensive
bibliography which directs the researcher to access needed
articles from the publisher, from a nearby research library,
through Inter-Library Loan, or from the Allen County Library.
To obtain copies of articles from PERSI via the Allen County
Public Library, the cost is $7.50 per form which will allow
you to order six articles per form. Complete the information
on the form and send your check to Allen County Public Library
Foundation, P.O. Box 2270, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270. A
charge of $.20 per page copied will accompany your material
which should be mailed to you within six to eight weeks.
Bryan L. Mulcahy
Fort Myers-Lee County Library
2050 Central Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33901-3917
Tel: (239)- 479-4651
Fax: (239)- 479-4634