Internet Databases and Invisible Web Searches

Venue: L.R.C. computer Lab

The "visible web" is what you can find using general web search engines. It's also what you see in almost all subject directories. Historically, the "invisible web" referred to what you could not retrieve ("see") using these types of tools.

It used to be that the following pages were part of the invisible or deep web and regular search engines didn't pick them up as they crawled their way through cyberspace. Fortunately, this has changed and they can now be found in the results of most search engines.

  • Pages in non-HTML formats (pdf, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), now converted into HTML.

Discuss: Have you ever noticed how many hits come back when you search on the web?

Try searching google for Shakespeare.

Notice that the following comes up: Results 1 - 10. If you keep reading you will see that there are over 40,000,000 English pages for Shakespeare.

If you think this is an enormous number of hits, just imagine a number several hundred times this. That is what is actually available if one searches the invisible web.

At the same time that many invisible web search engines or subject directories search through all that extra information, they are also focusing their searches, narrowing down the hits to information that is reliable. Some Examples of Free online Databases or subject directories which help you search the Invisible Web.

Librarians Internet Index
Internet Public Library
The Complete Planet
Google Scholar ( This is a special case which is part of the visible web and doesn't delve as deeply as invisible web search engines.)

Challenge: use some of the sites above to find information on the works of William Shakespeare.

* Remember to use good keywords and apply Boolean operators when phrasing your search.

1.Find the web page that has the following table in it.





All's Well That Ends Well
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Love's Labours Lost
Measure for Measure
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Winter's Tale
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
King John
Richard II
Richard III
Antony and Cleopatra
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
The Sonnets
A Lover's Complaint
The Rape of Lucrece
Venus and Adonis
Funeral Elegy by W.S.

2. Find a web page with information about the Lionfish

on it as well as this picture.


3. Find a page that contains the following information on Volcanoes.


For your final challenges try Archery Challenges 1 and 2.

For further online databases try the links on the ABC Gateway