Indexing my personal collection, yours too

by Sid Steward

If the courts decide indexing is fair use, what will you index first? I would love to have a search engine for my print library. Magazines, too. I know Google wants to give me that, but I'm impatient. How about a distributed indexing effort, a'la Project Gutenberg? That will ensure the most popular titles are indexed first.


People and businesses could contribute numerous ways:



  • Bandwidth

  • Scanning/OCR

  • Books

  • Money for books, operations


Here are some ideas on how it could work.


The online service would let the user create an account and specify all the books in her library. The user could then search against this collection to find information lurking on her own shelves ... much faster than flipping through book Indexes.


Of course the user could also search the larger collection. Add some social features to help users discover interesting books from like-minded folks.


If necessary, use ads, bookseller links or sponsors to fund operations.


Promote independent press. Tie into print-on-demand? Kinkos? Print(fu)?


Export an excellent API.


Sound interesting? If so, please contact me.