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4 easy ways to track down an indexed PERSI article

2 February 2016

If you're only looking at digitized periodicals in PERSI, you're really missing out.

Genealogy experts agree that the Periodical Source Index is one of the most underutilized resources out there, and we want to make sure you're getting the most out of it.

PERSI has been undergoing a major evolution - Findmypast has been working with the Allen County Library to digitize as many periodicals in their PERSI collection as possible, and we're making great progress.

But don't let that spoil you!

There are still thousands and thousands of articles in PERSI that can help you - they just aren't digitally available yet.

5 things you can find in a genealogy periodical

Fortunately, it's easy to obtain an article you found in PERSI that is indexed but not yet digitally available.

Motivation: Top genealogists make use of indexes

The internet has done wonders for genealogy, but sometimes we think it makes us a tad bit lazy.

And that's understandable.

If you're used to accessing everything you need while surfing the web, it can make requesting an article by mail seem obsolete or cumbersome.

But as any experienced genealogist will tell you, it's the offline research that really makes your family tree blossom.

So let's take a look at how the pros do it - you can too!

Contact the publisher

When you click on a specific article in your search results, you'll see publisher information at the bottom:

Findmypast - London office

Use the publisher information to track down the organization and contact them. They will be happy to reproduce an issue or article and mail it to you (usually for a very small fee). Make sure to let them know what you're searching for! Oftentimes they'll know of more articles that will help.

Perform a quick Google search to see if the organization is on the web or available by phone.

When you determine the best way to contact them, make sure you do more than simply let them know you're looking for a copy of an article or issue.

Let them know the details of your research - these amazingly helpful organizations will often recommend a few more articles that may help. Each journal will then let you know the cheapest and fastest way to get your article.

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Search local libraries

For many articles, PERSI will also contain a list of repositories where the article may be available. The section below, highlighted in red, can be a little intimidating, but just comb through it line by line - there's a decent chance that an institution near you has access to this periodical.

Findmypast - London office

This handy list of repositories is a good starting point if you want to use your local library to locate a PERSI article. It may not be exhaustive though, so if you don't find a library near you, keep looking!

If there isn't a library listed that's near enough to visit, that doesn't mean all hope is lost - it's very worth searching your local library database. If you still have no luck, give OCLC's WorldCat a try - it's the largest bibliographic database in the world!

Hire a local genealogist

One thing you might not have thought of - hire a local! Take a look at the list of libraries that have the articles, and find a genealogist (or any competent library researcher) in the area.

They can easily travel to the location, find the periodical you're seeking, scan it and then send it to you. In fact, you might as well get the most bang for your buck - see what other interesting articles might be in the library and give them a whole genealogy grocery list!

If all else fails, contact ACPL

If you aren't able to locate the article these other two ways, the one way that is essentially guaranteed to work is to contact the Allen County Public Library itself. You'll need to know the information highlighted in red:

Findmypast - London office

The ACPL genealogy center form will ask for all information boxed in red to process your request

Once you know what you want, fill out this form and send it in (with payment) to ACPL.

Quick tip: You can request up to 6 articles on one form, so make sure to shop around and see if there are any others you would like to request.

However you decide to acquire your articles, it's easier than you think and it's well worth it! When was the last time your mailman delivered essential information on your ancestors? Go for it!

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