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An Essential Collection on CD-ROM
(The Civil War on CD-ROM, 1.0, Guild Press, 435 Gradle Drive, Carmel, IN 46032, one disc, $69.95.).

In our October 1996 issue we reviewed H-Bar Enterprises’ version of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies on CD-ROM. In conclusion, we suggested delaying purchase of the complete H-Bar set until other companies released similar products and comparisons could be made.

H-Bar’s OR is riddled with typographical errors, the least offensive of which expose themselves as annoying mistakes, and the worst of which have changed words and numbers into other words and numbers, distorting the facts. Researchers would have to verify information, especially quotes, with the printed OR.

Also, after our review (which was based on seeing the Battle of Gettysburg volumes only), we discovered that the search function of H-Bar’s OR cannot scan all 130-volumes at once. Groups of several volumes must be selected and scanned in succession.

Guild Press’s recently released OR on CD-ROM is free of the major problems of H-Bar’s OR. Guild’s text appears accurate. Its search function can pass through the entire collection in one swoop. And the typography and overall design of the pages is attractive and easy to read.

Best of all, perhaps, is that prices of the OR on CD-ROM have dropped drastically. H-Bar has slashed its price from $750 at the time of our review to the current $149.95. Guild Press’s disc costs $69.95, and it includes other classic reference materials–Dyer’s Compendium, Fox’s Regimental Losses, and the National Archives Guide Index–as well as an OR user’s guide.

If you’ve been waiting to buy the OR on CD-ROM, now is the time to act.

Carl Zebrowski