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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Fall 2005

Book Reviews

From Gutenberg to the Internet: A Sourcebook on the History of Information Technology

D. Lynn Koenig
Journalism Librarian
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

From Gutenberg to the Internet : a sourcebook on the history of information technology / Jeremy M. Norman. Novato, Calif. :, 2005. ISBN 0-930405-87-0. $69.50.

This is a very interesting, informative account of how information technology has evolved into what it is today. It shows the reader what had to be accomplished so we could use the Internet, a research tool that we use in our everyday lives.

This handbook could be useful to anyone who has an interest in information technology and its abundant history. With that said, I don't feel that there is a particular target audience; this book has a relatively broad scope and would be something that anyone would benefit from reading. This could also be used as a study tool for students of computer science or communications.

This book has a very extensive table of contents and a lengthy introduction that explains how certain technologies eventually became the Internet as we know it today. A chapter at the end of the book lists materials for further reading, and an index of names is included to make the book easier to use when locating information. There are a few illustrations and drawings throughout the book that add interest for the reader. Some of the text can be difficult to understand, but the images are a tool to help the reader understand what is trying to be conveyed.

The book is divided into topic areas and the information contained in this handbook has been compiled from the writings of many different individuals, many of whom are experts in the field. For example, Charles Babbage, known to some as the "Father of Computing" is the source of much of the information contained in this book. This book exhibits the authority necessary to be of value to its readers.

This book educates the reader about how much work went into what we now know as the Internet. It was a step-by-step process that took the work of many people. In today's society it is amazing how dependent everyone is on the technology that is available. It is important to realize also that the children of today never knew a world without the Internet. It raises the question: What's next?

This sourcebook does a good job of getting its message across and it would be a valuable tool to add to any collection, especially if the library has students or others who wish to learn the roots of information technology, as we know it today.

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