First to Publish Eighteen-Volume Cambridge History on the Web

Preeminent Publisher of Literary Classics Unveils First Unabridged, Full-Text Searchable, Web-based Version of Cambridge Classic

New York; Jan. 31, 2000——the first name in Internet publishing of reference, verse and classic literature—today announced the first-ever online offering of the complete, unabridged Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. A milestone for online publishing, the eighteen-volume collection comprises the largest public reference work of literary criticism and history on the Internet. And, like all of the works published by, it is accessible online at no cost to the user (   1
  The Cambridge History was originally published by New York’s G.P. Putnam’s Sons and by Cambridge University Press from 1907 to 1921. Containing 303 chapters and at 11,000 pages, it is considered the most important general history of English and American literature ever printed and a landmark of English and American letters.   2’s presentation divides this mammoth work by subject into over 5,600 files, which are full-text searchable, and includes indexes by chapter, bibliography and chapter author in an easy-to-use web navigation format.’s full-text search is an enormous benefit to students and readers of all kinds, who can now locate specific passages and commentary in seconds.   3
  Originally developed to be a survey of the life of the English and American people as expressed in their writings, Cambridge History’s contents range from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing. The set encompasses a broad range of writing on humorists, publicists, orators, newspaper columnists, religious leaders, economists, Native Americans, song writers, and even non-English writing, such as Yiddish and Creole.   4
  Cambridge History was edited and written by a worldwide panel of 170 of the greatest thinkers and writers of their time, including John Erskine, Carl Van Doren, William P. Trent, Brander Matthews, Henry Cabot Lodge, Herbert Grierson, George Saintsbury and Arthur Symons.   5
  “It is uniquely rewarding to publish the Cambridge History,” said Steven van Leeuwen, publisher and founder of “The knowledge filling its eleven thousand pages—accessed with features like full-text searching and multiple indexes—will be even more central a research tool for the readers and students of the twenty-first century than it was for those of the twentieth.”   6
  The set is the newest addition to a rapidly growing library of online classics and reference books. will significantly expand its collection of publications this year, with additional comprehensive reference materials, Pulitzer Prize winners and celebrated fiction.   7
Headquartered in New York City, began publishing on the Web in 1994. Now a leading innovator in the field of electronic publishing, has been widely cited as one of the best reference sites on the Web, having published among other works, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Strunk’s Elements of Style and six classic poetry anthologies, including the Oxford Book of English Verse. Post’s Etiquette, which the company added to its site in December 1999, enables readers to jump from over 1,500 alphabetic subject entries to the most relevant of the 2,600 paragraphs in the book.   8
  Named after the humble character of Melville’s classic Bartleby, the Scrivener, provides millions of students, educators and the intellectually curious with unparalleled access to classics and reference books online. began as a personal research experiment in 1993 and within one year published its first classic book on the Web, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Since then,’s ever-expanding list of renowned classics makes it the preeminent electronic publishing enterprise on the Web.   9
For information contact:      
Steven van Leeuwen,      

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