Hi - Sometimes when fielding a reference question, I think the best place to start is to do a little browse-reading on the subject, and Google Scholar is a likely place for that. The following idea is inspired by becoming aware of Paratext's Reference Universe product. Reference Universe allows one to search the full-text (or is it indexing, TOCs and indexes only?) of what they call "major reference works" and subject encyclopedias in a broad range of subject areas. The unstated assumption is that these academic publisher's works would be superior to searching Wikipedia. The product is geared for undergraduate multidisciplinary libraries. I've wondered what a corresponding product geared for a graduate theological institution like mine would be.
I'm thinking of batch searching the titles in our reference collection against Google books to identify what's not in Google Scholar. Then consider whether scanning indexes only of those works that seem likely candidates into a supplementary index that would direct you into the print works. Perhaps scanning the indexes would be legally defensible because they constitute less than 10% of the work...
How would you approach discerning whether this project would be useful?
E-services and periodicals librarian
Virginia Theological Seminary
Bishop Payne Library, VTS Box 159
3737 Seminary Road
Alexandria VA 22304
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>