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O'Callaghan's Now fully searchable and one of FOUR important historical references on one CD
Two reviews --
"... When I learned that the complete set was available on CD-ROM I was naturally eager to see it first hand. I wrote to the distributor asking if a copy was available at a local library. If not, would they loan me a copy to evaluate and review in our newsletter?"
"About two weeks later I received a package containing the CD and a letter from Richard Frisbie of Hope Farms (sic) Press outlining conditions of a 45-day loan. Before delving into the substance of this review, I want to digress for a moment on the general subject of the publishing of historical material in electronic media and the related topic of the availability of this material on-line. In his letter Mr. Frisbie writes that Mr. Weller, the publisher, "expressed reservations about the electronic accessibility of the work. A great deal of energy and capital are being invested in the development of a list of CDs of scarce and valuable books previously unavailable to the general public. Actions that might reduce the potential market could adversely effect the whole project, perhaps even jeopardizing the release of important titles. At the same time, Mr. Weller's ultimate goal in producing this series of rare references on CD is to make the knowledge available to as many people as possible. He suggests that this seeming conflict can be resolved with judicious use, not abuse, of the privilege of making this work available electronically." I think Mr. Frisbie has done a good job of posing an interesting dilemma for publishers of historical material, or any material for that matter, in computer media. At GENCAP, we are at the forefront of the wave of technological revolution. We are actively raising funds to purchase of CD-ROM titles for access by our members through our electronic bulletin board. It has been suggested that GENCAP undertake the electronic publication of local historical records. If we can learn from the experience of others engaged in similar activities, we will make fewer mistakes as we chart the course of our future."
"... I was quite excited as I inserted the disk into the drive. I have a 486 PC running Windows. There is no instruction manual, but getting started was relatively painless." he then recounts some difficulties
. after noting typos in the introduction "... following the Introduction is a fascinating "About the Author" section written by the publisher, LeGrand Weller. "
"... I was both gratified and disappointed with this product. Sitting at my PC browsing through such a rich collection of important documents is an empowering and thrilling experience. Not being able to search for specific words or phrases is frustrating." difficulties with printing and copy/paste are described, he notes that support is good
"... The publication of historical works on CDROM is in its infancy. Shortcomings, such as the inability to search the text, will limit their appeal. Nonetheless, a rare and valuable reference work is now available. Libraries and other organizations with holdings encompassing New York State history will want to acquire O'Callaghan's Documentary History of New York on CD-ROM for their collections."
From the Spring 1996 issue of The Palatine Immigrant newsletter
"With very little experince,(sic) it is simple to use. The CD-ROM was prepared using each page as an image, with the Table of Contents available to use as one would in a book. This History of New York has several pages on the Palatines, including Hunter's lists. The maps and plates are as faithfully duplicated as the text.
The availability of this fine reference on CD-ROM is a wonderful addition for libraries, for the prospect of the 4-volume set being reprinted is dim. Historians, researchers and genealogists will appreciate its availability."
To see a lengthy list of chapter headings of the 4 volume Documentary History of New York.
For ordering information, or to email your comments. . .
Copyright © 1995 renewed 1999 by Richard Frisbie -- All rights reserved.