Mumford is a well-known mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal, the highest honor available in mathematics.
Many of these papers are currently unavailable, and the commentaries by Gieseker, Lange, Viehweg and Kempf are being published here for the first time.
From the reviews:
"The present volume contains thirty selected articles of D. Mumford on topics in algebraic geometry ... . must be seen as a highly valuable and welcome collection for every researcher in the field. ... Further generations of researchers in this field, graduate students, mathematical physicists, and mathematical historians will profit a great deal from this collection of selected papers ... . this is why this volume is at least a must for any relevant library." (Werner Kleinert, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1051)
"Springer has recently released ... a collection of 30 of the 51 papers that Mumford wrote in algebraic geometry. The papers are divided into three sections, each of which comes with commentary and annotation by Mumford ... which give nice summaries and introductions to much of his work. ... Reading these papers is exciting both for their mathematical content and to watch the evolution of the ideas ... . a book that most algebraic geometers - and all libraries - will not want to do without." (Darren Glass, MathDL, January, 2005)
"The Editors of this volume of Selected Papers, published by Springer Verlag, have made the choice of grouping his articles under three distinct headings ... . This is a book is not going to get dust on a shelf: it will more likely spend its life on desks, read more often than a Graduate Text or a Monograph. Algebraic geometers of every generation will certainly welcome it." (E. Sernesi, Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung, Vol. 107 (1), 2007)
"This book contains a selection of the papers of David Mumford (born in 1937) in algebraic geometry. Even today, his papers are a rich source of information, of truly new ideas, and of inspiration. ... His style is unique and fascinating. ... Young algebraic geometers would do well to study these papers. They contain a wealth of ideas waiting to be developed." (Frans Oort, Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, Vol. 8 (3), 2007)
"I am quiet happy to keep this volume on my self, and I will surely find many more seeds in it that grew so large that by now there origins are hard to recognize. The volume under review divides Mumford's papers into three broad areas, each preceded by an easy summarizing the results and outlining their influence on further developments." (Janos Kollar, Bulletin of the American Math Society, Vol. 43 (1), 2005)