This excellent KINO double-DVD Special Edition from the "Griffith Masterworks" series is, in my opinion, as entertaining to watch as any later feature-length Griffith films, and not merely an historic account of cinema's development. No doubt these 23 short films - most of them being around 15 minutes, some 30 minutes long - are invaluable in showing the pioneering spirit of DW Griffith in the early years of cinema (1909-1913) and even someone without a professional interest or knowledge of cinema's history (like me) can already see that these Shorts are a cut above the rest, and that Griffith was ahead of his time.
Apart from the technical aspects, the real highlight for me, and perhaps for most general viewers, is the variety of stories presented here. They are like good quality short stories, and as with written stories, the next most important thing after having a good plot is the way the story is told, and this is where Griffith excelled. Some of the Shorts on these discs are based on stories by Poe, Tennyson and others, as well as contemporary film writers like Anita Loos. There are some heavy subjects which make a 'social comment', which Griffith often liked to make, then some real tear-jerkers, some suspense and action, a few Westerns and other general ones to balance things out. Each Short deserves proper attention, but each is rewarding in the way it is presented. It's also interesting to see early work by the regular Biograph - and later the Griffith - cast such as Blanche Sweet, Lionel Barrymore and of course, Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish, who went on to become big stars in their own right.
Almost all Shorts have perfect picture quality, and the one that hasn't ("The Adventures of Dollie") has an explanation from KINO explaining that it is included for its historic significance, namely Griffith's directorial debut, which is so good that you can easily forgive the somewhat washed-out picture. Musical scores are also of highest standard and match each film perfectly, being arranged by Robert Israel. Far more than just history for the film student, then: more like an excellent collection of short stories to which you keep wanting to go back.