THE PERIODICAL SOURCE INDEX
December 2, 2012
The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) has long been the largest subject index to genealogy and history magazine articles. Thankfully, the Allen County Public Library Foundation and the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) work together to publish this helpful tool appreciated by all genealogists.
The project began in 1986. Their goal was to index current issues as well as past issues of genealogical periodicals. The beginning effort was to publish annual volumes of current material and publish a 16-volume set covering the years 1847-1985, which the Family History Library made available on microfiche for its branches. These were used until Ancestry published them on CDs containing the entire set, old and new material.
Eleven years after PERSI’s beginning, the annual print volumes were discontinued when Ancestry.com made it available online. Today, it is also on HeritageQuestOnline.com, regularly updated and fully searchable on both subscription sites.
The ACPL Foundation employs eight staff members including a full-time supervisor and assistant supervisor and additional part-time staff working as indexers and editors.
In 1997, the last year for which an annual print volume was produced, PERSI was made available as an online database at Ancestry.com. PERSI is now regularly updated and fully searchable at both HeritageQuestOnline.com and Ancestry.com, although updates to the Ancestry version of the database are sometimes delayed. 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.
It is important to remember that PERSI does not cover surname periodicals, queries, charts, fiction, cartoons or poetry. It is a subject index to articles with entries such as location and record type and surnames as the subject.
IGHR’S WEEK OF COURSES: The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) provide an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. Students choose one of the offered courses that last throughout the week and that range from a course for beginners to courses on specialized topics. The institute begins at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9, and concludes at 12:00 p.m. Friday, June 14. Registration opens on January 22, 2013 at 10 a.m. For more information on the courses and the Jean Thompson Scholarship, their website is http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/index.html.
BACKUP YOUR DATABASE: We are now on Central Standard Time and have changed the batteries in our smoke detectors. There is one more thing to do the first of each month and that is to back up your hard drive.
LOUISIANA DIGITIZES SLAVE AND FREE BLACK RECORDS: Louisiana is digitizing worn and yellowed 18th century French and Spanish legal papers that give the first historical accounts of slaves and free blacks in North American. See ABC report, http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/colonial-la-records-shed-light-us-history-17589932.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.