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Website of the Week

Website of the Week Archive

April 21, 2003

Search Systems, Public Record Locator,

Public records collected and maintained by government agencies at all levels constitute a vast and often untapped part of the Invisible Web. The Invisible Web, also called the Dark or Deep Web, are those parts of the Internet that cannot be searched by general search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Alta Vista.

Search Systems provides an extensive database of public records databases, more than 14 thousand resources. You may browse the list by jurisdiction or search by keyword.

Browsing the U.S. Nationwide list we find databases such as

Aviation accidents Elementary schools Internet service providers Passport offices Sept. 11 victims
Bank acquisitions FCC licenses Labor organizations Pilots Storm tracking
Campaign contributions FDA medical device lists Mayors Process servers Tax identification numbers
Chambers of commerce Franchises Military records Product recalls Unclaimed property
Court reporters Geographic names Most-wanted lists Roller coasters Vital records
Diplomatic missions Holocaust era insurance claims Nuclear waste route maps SEC filings Zip codes

Most of these sources are free; some require a fee.

If you rely only on Google to find information on the Internet, you are missing a lot of valuable and useful information that is stored in databases. Take a look at the Public Record Locator; you'll be amazed at what you find.

2008, M.G. Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington