The number and volume of information resources is enormous and growing exponentially. The level of care taken in the preparation of information for on-line publication varies greatly. Access to the information is often poor and, moreover, even awareness of the existence of specific data is becoming increasingly difficult. Organizational strategies provided by information publishers are publisher-centric or designed to meet the needs of a specific user group. Tools are needed that will enable users to create personal collections of information resources of interest to them. It will be necessary to cull tens of thousands of resources for those of specific interest; it will also be necessary to continuously monitor available resources to detect new useful sources or to decide that others are no longer of interest. Efficient search strategies are required to support the discovery of resources and to search and fuse information gleaned from those resources. We are developing new techniques aimed at constructing a user-customized Personalized Information Environment (PIE) that can be tailored to the needs of specific users. The techniques developed will be based on: distributed search over restricted search spaces; virtual information repositories; and a novel system architecture. In addition to user control over information access, our architecture provides for user anonymity and secure access to resources.