Indiana State Library Offers Access to PERSI for Genealogists

Discovering your family’s genealogy can be an exciting adventure and a fulfilling hobby. If you are currently on the treasure hunt for your family roots, listen up. This Thursday, February 25 the Indiana State Library offers access to PERSI (The Periodical Source Index) to amateur genealogists in Indianapolis. This introductory course on PERSI will help family historians discover how to use this incredible tool. Head to the Indiana State Library Thursday evening from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm for this FREE Indianapolis event.

PERSI, or the PERiodical Source Index, is the largest and most used subject index in the field of genealogy. It contains data from as far back as the 1800s. This comprehensive data base of history periodicals written in English and French (Canada) offers 1.7 million searchable records and nearly 6,000 different periodicals. It is one of the most high quality genealogy search tools.

PERSI offers access to records and publications that family historians would not otherwise be able to locate in such a swift manner. However, the database is not a full-text index, meaning individuals mentioned in passing will not show up on searches. Users can browse cemetery transcriptions, newspaper extracts, local records, census information and more.

Created by the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this monumental project has been painstakingly compiled by library staffers for more than a decade. Now you can enjoy the fruits of their labors. However, this complex database is not simple to use, necessarily. It is organized into four sections: Surname Section, Locality Section, Research Methodologies Sections and PERSI Bibliography.

The Surname Section is searchable by last name. Regardless of location, a keyword or surname search will offer any matching articles. The Locality Section organizes the information geographically. Filter your searches through different countries and find more accurate results. The Research Methodologies Section offers guidance on various subjects including biographies, cemeteries, census, church, court records, deeds, directories, history, institutions, land, maps, military, naturalization, obituaries, passenger lists, school records, tax lists, vital records, voter lists, wills and other.

The PERSI Bibliography offers further information about the source of all the genealogy materials in PERSI. This program is extremely useful as Allen County Public Librarian Curt Witcher explains, “Without checking genealogical periodicals, researchers miss out on arguably 25% to 30% of the available knowledge on any given topic.

This brief explanation of PERSI barely scratches the surface of how important the database can be for genealogy researchers and how to use the complex database. Usually access to PERSI is available only by purchasing a membership to any of the many genealogy research websites. But this Thursday, the Indiana State Library not only gives a crash course on using PERSI, but also the ability to browse the database yourself. Don’t miss this exciting Indianapolis education opportunity.

Bring a friend or family member with you to enjoy this great Indy event. Head to any of the Indianapolis restaurants or Indianapolis bars in Indianapolis downtown after the session to share the riches of your spoil. Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis.

PERSI for Genealogists
Thursday, February 25 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Indiana State Library
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202