* i'm assuming that we don't want to modify lib/gendocs_template
        since it's synced with upstream gnulib

For sure.

    so the default manual/ landing page & manual will be unchanged from today
    other than having a link to the full versioned index

What url/filename are you thinking for the "full versioned index"?

     <li><a href="1.16">GNU Automake 1.16</a></li>
     ... vs. ...
     <td>Feb 2018</td>
     <td><a href="1.16">GNU Automake 1.16</a></td>
     <td><a href="1.16/automake.html">HTML</a></td>
     <td><a href="1.16/automake.pdf">PDF</a></td>

I doubt the old manuals will get a tremendous amount of use, so one line
per version seems sufficient to me, vs. a table. But I have no objection
either way.

OTOH, the date and the direct link to the html seem like the most
interesting information (more so than the PDF). Could be something like:

<li><a href="1.16/">GNU Automake 1.16</a>
    - Feb 2018
    - <a href="1.16/automake.html">HTML</a>

But I don't feel strongly about it. Whatever seems sensible. It might
take seeing the page with a few versions actually done before it's clear
what's best. --thanks, karl.

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