From Library Journal, January 15, 2004
The Gutenberg-e catalog includes historical monographs on Africa, South Asia, colonial Latin America, Europe before 1800, North America before 1900, military history, and the history of foreign relations.
Searchability. Readers may use the Search button on the Gutenberg-e homepage to search the whole database or browse the titles. Clicking on the first titleA Field of Honor: Writers, Court Culture and Public Theater in French Literary Life from Racine to the Revolutiontakes the reader to a table of contents page. Four icons appear in the upper left corner, indicating that images, an archive, web resources, and a glossary supplement the text. (Other Gutenberg-e books included QuickTime video, figures and tables, appendixes, and translations.)
The images link leads to a chapter-by-chapter annotated listing of the images the author associates with his work. The images themselves are linked from here. The archive link makes the researcher's lifer easier by connecting to transcriptions of relevant documents. Web resources include general links to online sources for French literary e-texts, academic web resources on early modern French theater, scholarly organizations and institutions such as libraries, and scholarly web sites for French culture and history. The chapter links connect primarily to sources of e-texts for the authors and dramatistsCorneille's Oeuvres completes, for exampleanalyzed in the text. Chapter heading hyperlinks bring the reader to the text where there are embedded elements like thumbnail images and hyperlinks to web resources.
Clicking on the Search button while within A Field of Honor causes a simple search box to pop up. The Inktomi search engine ranks results by relevancy and lets the searcher Find Similar items. It supports phrase searching with quotation marks, the require (+) or reject (-) operators, and case match. Searching on "moliere" produced an annotated results list of 19 documents. But when we attempted to "Search these results" by typing in the term "engraving" there were no results despite the term appearing several times in the annotated results list. Ultimately the strategy "+moliere +engraving" proved successful, although this demands more search savvy on the user's part than we like in a resource. Output options include printing chapters or sections of books in PDF format.
Price. Subscriptions to Gutenberg-e are available for just $195 annually, which gives an institution unlimited campuswide access. Consortial pricing is also available. Individuals may purchase any of the e-books for $49.50, which gives them access to the full text and supplementary materials in perpetuity.
Who Needs It?. The world of scholarly communication needs it. We were impressed that Columbia University Press has created a new outlet for scholarly publication that embraces new technologies, and we would expect the academic community to embrace such a resource wholeheartedly.