Friday, February 7, 2014

PERSI 3.0 with Curt Witcher at RootsTech

Friday I attended PERSI 3.0: The Next Generation of the Periodical Source Index led by Curt Witcher, who you may know from his awesomeness at the Allen County Public Library.

PERSI is a great genealogical resource. Recently, it got a new address and some new life breathed into it. For these reasons, I was curious to see the latest PERSI news.

Witcher started by describing the types of periodicals in the index. In this case, periodicals do not include newspapers. Those are serials. Periodicals in PERSI are genealogical journals and publications. They may focus on a certain place, historical era, surname, ethnicity or something else.

Much of the good information found in these articles is missed because the people that are interested in them aren't subscribers of these journals or part of the geographical area. Witcher calls these "orphan articles." He gave an example of an article about the history of a town in Indiana....but it was featured in an Idaho genealogical society journal. How would one ever find out about it if they weren't part of the Idaho society? That's where PERSI comes in.

PERSI is indexed by humans who are information professionals who know about genealogy. This means you'll get excellent, quality results when you search the index. Do you get that same quality in Google Books? Not usually.

When you search PERSI and find an article of interest, you can enter the title of it in WorldCat and see local repositories near you that hold the item.

Where can you get this magical PERSI? It's been around for a while, but hadn't been updated with new items for a few years. Now PERSI is available through findmypast. Yes, you do need to be a subscriber. There is an older version of the PERSI index available at HeritageQuest, but it doesn't have recent updates or all the things that are being added at a rapid pace by findmypast.

Wouldn't it be great if you could access findmypast through your library? They are working toward a library edition right now.

Here's more about the PERSI move to findmypast.

This was a great RootsTech session. I'm glad I attended. I tweeted it heavily. Thanks to all who responded.

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