The difference between a library and a whole lot of information:
The ineffectiveness of Web search engines is widely recognized...
For example, if we search Altavista for "To Be or Not to Be" we get 59 million hits, the first four of which have to do with computer storage, weather reports, holiday travel, and--ironically--how easy it is to use Netscape Communicator.
But if we do a more structured search on a more structured collection of data, limited to dramatic speeches within the Etext Center's Modern English Literature collection...
We get much more relevant results...
and from them, we can get right to the full text of the play itself.
The answer is not just smarter search engines, but smarter data, and the smarts in smarter data have to be put there by people--people who understand the nature of the information itself and the uses to which it will be put.
Examples of use (research at IATH):
Searching Images at The Blake Archive
The World of Dante: Text Visualization
The Waters of the City of Rome: Interactive Modeling
A quicktime clip of film annotation in Hitchcock's Vertigo, from Postmodern Culture, a pioneering electronic scholarly journal published through IATH.
Valley of the Shadow
For examples here, you should talk to Will Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask him for a copy of the Norton prototype CD, which will have interesting visual materials on it, suitable for use as examples of either teaching or research. Also, bear in mind that the Valley project, which began at IATH and which has had support from a variety of University computing programs, including the library's Etext Center, has now become a center in its own right--the Center for Digital History, housed in Alderman, next door to IATH and the Etext center.