From Library Journal, December 15, 2002
The Gutenberg-e project started in 1999. The database is the result of an annual national competition conducted by the American Historical Association to attract the best dissertations in history,which are then reworked into electronic publications and made accessible by Columbia University Press. A major goal of the program is to support beginning history scholars who, it has been shown, have difficulty publishing their dissertations. Examples of available titles include Ignacio Gallup-Diaz's The Door of the Seas and Key to the Universe: Indian Politics and Imperial Rivalry in the Darién; 1640-1750, Anne Hardgrove's Community and Public Culture: The Marwaris in Calcutta 1897-1997; Michael Katten's Colonial Lists/Indian Power: Identity Politics in Nineteenth Century Telugu-Speaking India; and Gregory Brown's A Field of Honor: Writers, Court Culture and Public Theater in French Literary Life from Racine to the Revolution.
The tastefully designed interface offers basic ad advanced searching, internal links between test and references, images and audio, web resources, and easy-to-print PDF versions. Web links are well chosen, and the multimedia links are easy to locate, either in the text or via a separate icon.
Navigation is efficient. The chapter listing moves down the page as you scroll, and links between the text and notes are clear. Images are well places within the text, but I wish web links had annotations and were placed with other links enhancing the text, such as links to transcriptions of archival documents and glossaries, as well as links to images, tables, and appendices.
The Bottom Line: The scholarly Gutenberg-e collection of texts is very reasonably priced. Academic libraries will appreciate the content and the opportunity to support and imaginatively scholarly communications venture. Users will appreciate the unique content and the simple access. Recommended for academic collections and large public libraries.