PERSI: Tips for Getting Copies of Articles

You might notice, when you use PERSI, that once you find an article you want to read, there’s no link to view it. Can you imagine the task and resources needed to digitize, store, link, and do all of the other techno-shizzle-wizzle needed to house digital images of the over 8,000 titles in the collection that starts from publications in 1847 to today? That’s millions and millions of pages. So, remember, PERSI is an index. In our day of instant gratification, we want to be able to click and see the article. But that is not possible, here and now. You have to do some extra work to get the benefit of PERSI.

When you find an article you want here are some ways to try to obtain a copy. These are not in any particular order. It depends on the journal, the society, the library, etc. There’s no way to know ahead of time which one of these will work best for that journal.

  • Look up the journal title on WorldCat to locate a library that holds that journal. Then see if they have a copy/scan service to provide the article. Most do. Or you can try interlibrary loan to obtain a copy.
  • Look up the publishing society’s website. I have found several genealogical societies that have already digitized their own quarterlies and make them available on their website, often for free.
  • Hire a professional to make copies. You could hire someone that frequents Allen County Public Library, or someone that frequents a library you located using the WorldCat step above. I recommend the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Directory. This link will show you those that list Allen County Public Library under their repositories.
  • Contact ACPL directly. There is a form for ordering articles under the “Our Services” link found under “Explore Genealogy” on the ACPL homepage. No offense to anyone that works at ACPL, but that form indicates that it will take “6-8 weeks” and I’m an impatient genealogist, so I try any of the other steps before I will try this one. And I have never had to use this form. Something else invariably works, and works faster than 6-8 weeks.
  • If none of the above work (which I highly doubt, but anything is possible), then visit ACPL and find them yourself. (Highly Recommended!) The library is lovely (see below).
Allen County Public Library, photo by author, 2013

Those are my best tips on PERSI, on of genealogy’s most under utilized resources in my opinion. I hope you will use it more and learn how to use it more effectively with the tips in this series.

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