Saturday, December 21, 2013

Society Saturday - Periodicals - Keep or Toss?

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society is very proud of its genealogical library housed on the fourth floor of the California State Archives Building, 1020 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Easy access is traveling by lightrail and get off at the Archives Square Exit which is right in front of the building.

These pictures are already outdated. We have had to renovate, and change the floor plan a couple of times since this was taken. But it shows a partial view of the periodicals we have on our shelves. Periodicals make up quite a bit of a genealogical library- space wise. Space is valuable. We are always asking can you locate the informaiton in the periodicals online? Are periodicals outdated? Are they going away with the digitizing of periodicals? How do we store digitized periodicals? How to share the information?


As almost all genealogical libraries around the country are having a deliema of what do with all the periodicals that have accumulated from many many years and how to handle the periodicals that have changed from the paper form to a digital form. This is a big concern for many of us, our librarys continue to grow with many wonderful books and publications from around the country and the world. Periodicals still have a lot of value. We have periodicals from very local groups, eithnic groups, statewide groups, & national groups. Each representing another aspect of family research and from different parts of the country. Each has surnames, each has queries, transcripts for family Bibles, cemetery records, land records, court records and so much more. All still as much value when published to today.

It use to be that all periodicals that Allen County Public Library - Genealogical Department, Fort Wayne, Indiana received were all indexed into a system called PERSI (Periodical Source Index).  It was published & updated from 1847 to 1985, which formed 16 volumes. Root Cellar SGS Library has two of the volumes on their shelves. PERSI was available on but it is no longer. has purchased this database. I do not know if they will continue to add to PERSI database or if it will remain the same. The database does include many periodicals from Canada, Germany, England and others. If you have a Roseville Library Card you can log on to their catalog and enter PERSI is available on  Good Luck!

Suggestions for finding periodicals for the areas you are interested in....... GOOGLE it

         i.e.:  genealogical periodicals Stark County, Ohio (obviously you substitute your county.state)

Many questions have come up How is your organization handling this:
We were just going to put up the digitized periodicals that we are receiving on our website but for members only. But what are the copyright issues? Do we need to contact each organization to ask permission?

What is your genealogical library doing with the change from paper to digital form?" How do you allow your members to read these publications? Or do they? Do you send them out to your members when it arrives or do you put it up on your website for members only area or do your members even have access to the digital form anymore? Do you need to get permission from the organization to publish their periodicals to our members or in the members only area of the website?

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