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An important problem in pervasive computing is how to create and maintain manageable collections of pervasive resources appropriate for disparate and typically nomadic users. This article describes physical registration, a new, human-centric mechanism for constructing collections of resources in the form of electronic directories. Users identify physical objects using sensor-equipped wirelessly networked handheld devices to build directories of virtual "entities" associated with those objects. The entities can be Web resources accessible over a network, like printers, projectors, picture frames, or storage devices. They can also be Web resources correlated with objects like books or telephones that are not themselves accessible over a network. This article describes and motivates the method, then compares two implementations we have constructed.