Information Sources Available on the Web

Because there’s so much information available on the Web, it has to be organized so that you can find what you need. There must also be tools or programs to help you locate information.
Directories or Subject Catalogs
Search Engines
Meta-search Tools
Virtual Libraries
  • Virtual libraries are directories or subject catalogs consisting of Web resources that librarians or other information specialists have selected and evaluated. Arranged by subject, these are directories of a general collection of Internet and WWW resources. Several of the directories contain reviews or descriptions of the entries. 
  • Two excellent examples are The Internet Public Library,, and Librarians’ Index to the Internet,
  • An annotated list of Virtual Libraries is available at See the Web page "Directories and Virtual Libraries,", for more details.
Specialized Databases
  • Specialized databases can be comprehensive collections of hyperlinks in a particular subject area or self-contained indexes that are searchable and available on the Web. 
  • The Internet Sleuth,, accesses more than three thousand specialized databases and directories. 
Library Catalogs on the Web 
  • Libraries have often been at the forefront of making resources available through the Internet, and thousands of libraries allow Internet and Web access to their catalogs of holdings. 
  • Some resources for library catalogs accessible on the World Wide Web are WebCATS,, and Libweb,
FTP Archives
  • FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. Dating back to the early 1970s, it’s the original protocol used to share files among computers with access to the Internet. There are thousands of FTP archives containing information in various formats, such as text, data, programs, images, and audio. 
  • Several Web sites allow you to search FTP archives and make it relatively easy to retrieve files through FTP. One is Filez,
Email Discussion Groups
  • Email discussion groups are sometimes called interest groups, listserv, or mailing lists. Internet users join, contribute to, and read messages to the entire group through email. Several thousand different groups exist. 
  • Several services let you search for discussion groups. One is Liszt,
Usenet Newsgroups
  • Usenet newsgroups are collections of group discussions, questions, answers, and other information shared through the Internet. The messages are called articles and are grouped into categories called newsgroups. The newsgroups number in the thousands, with tens of thousands of articles posted daily. 
  • Many search engines include the option of searching archives of Usenet articles, and some services—such as Deja News,—keep large archives of Usenet articles.


Know A Tool


Sites to Visit
Searching and Researching on the Internet and the WWW
Search Engine Watch
Librarians' Index to the Internet: Searching the Internet: About Start with 

Click on Searching: About