Historians On Trial Added Value

Narrative material

About the case
This section introduces the background behind the case, who was involved, and its general significance in both the labor rights and historical communities. Focus will be on the arguments of the prosecution and defense, the debate in the historical community about the role of history and historians in the courtroom, and the debate in the woman’s history profession over the arguments put forth by Rosenberg and Kessler-Harris. Default view will be brief, with an option to click for more.

About the historians
This section provides biographies, works published, and other information on Rosenberg and Kessler-Harris. Default view will be brief, with an option to click for more.

About the documents
This section features a brief overview of the types of documents included in the exhibition and links to the institutional archives from which they originated. It will link to the browse by document type page.

About the project
This section explains why the project is important and how is was executed: who was involved (institutions and individuals), what steps were taken, what standards were adhered to, funding information, technical information. This page also serves as a "credit" page.

How to use the site
This section includes a general overview of site components, a link to a site map, instructions on how to search, how to use the various browsing options and technical information like browser specifications or how to download documents. Links to these instructions will appear at various parts of the site, such as at the point of downloading or the search page.

Searching features

The site will feature a basic search box on the homepage as the default view, with an option to click for an advanced search box.

Basic search includes 2 drop down menus and one check box:

-All (default)
-Court document
-Scholarly article
-Newspaper article
-Website (narrative material)
-User comments

LOCATION IN RECORD (location of the search term in the document record)
-Anywhere in record (default)
-Title (of document, of article)
-Date (publication date for articles)
-Subject (LC, project specific descriptors, and user tags)

Check boxes for either:
-Words or phrase are contained in record
-Word or phrase is exact in record

Advanced search will offer two search boxes for each drop down menu, a check box for contains/exact a date range box, and a link to a Thesaurus and Search Tips page (see below).


Thesaurus and Search Tips
This page will be linked to on both the basic and advanced search pages. It will feature information about how the project utilized LC subject headings and project-specific descriptors, advice on how perform searches, and a thesaurus- a database of controlled terminology/descriptors that the creators of the site used in encoding the material. There will be an explanation of what a thesaurus is as well as a “search” box, which will allow a user who is having trouble getting results from his or her searches to enter a term and receive a list of recommended descriptors that were used in tagging the material. Alternatively, the user may view the entire list of descriptive terms in alphabetical order and use that list to search for documents, like Library of Congress subjects in a library catalog. (All listed descriptors will be hyper-linked so users can click on all documents tagged with a descriptor).

Users will not need to use the thesaurus for misspellings because a certain amount of regularization of mispealled terms will also be employed, which will help to streamline searches and give quick results.
There will also be regularization of names, such as “Alice Kessler-Harris,” and “Kessler-Harris, Alice.”

The documents in this exhibit will be tagged with three types of descriptors:
-Library of Congress subject and name headings
-project specific controlled descriptors (developed by creators of the project)
-user tags
These descriptors will appear under the headings: LC, project specific descriptors, and user tags. They will appear in hyper-linked form on the side of every results page, providing the user the option to refine their search by clicking on a tag to find other documents encoded with that tag.

LC headings
The following Library of congress headings represent a sampling of the subjects, individuals, and organizations recorded in the documents:
Actions and defenses—Cases
Actions and defenses-Illinois
Actions and defenses-Illinois—Chicago
Actions and defenses-United States
Actions and defenses-United States—Cases
Actions and defenses-United States—History
Discriminations in Employment- United States
Historians- United states
Kessler-Harris, Alice
Labor law and legislation- Cases
Rosenberg, Rosalind, 1946-
Sears Roebuck and Company- Trials, litigation, etc.
Sex discrimination against women- United States
United Sates. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission- Trials, litigation, etc.
Women- Employment- United States
Women historians

As you can see in the “Actions and defenses” subject heading, there is an abundance of LC headings that technically apply to these documents. However because these documents comprise such a small and focused amount of material, all of these subject headings apply to almost every document in the collection. This kind of description strategy is not particularly useful for searching. Yet ideally, these documents will be included in a library catalog, therefore necessitating the use of LC headings. Hence, a selection of LC headings (not every single applicable heading) will be used to tag the documents. These headings will be linked to the university’s library catalog, allowing the user to view other materials tagged with that subject.

Project specific descriptors
Controlled vocabulary will be developed by the project creators for the encoded description of the documents in this project. This vocabulary will be based on LC headings, but modified to achieve greater specificity on description. For example, the written testimony of Alice Kessler-Harris will be encoded with the following descriptors:
- Kessler-Harris, Alice
- Written testimony
- Testimony
- Court document
- Descriptors that reference her position in the trial, works, names or concepts she mentions, articles that directly quote her testimony, etc.

All text will be encoded with detailed TEI to allow a high level of seachablility. Narrative written for this site will also be encoded with TEI, allowing this material to be searched by users. User comments will not be tagged with TEI but will be searchable by title, keyword, date, and author.

User tags
Users will have the option to tag documents with their own terminology. These tags will be described as “user tags,” and will be incorporated into the searching function of the site. This feature is provided because the creators of the site believe it is important for users to learn by interacting with the material, in addition to the notion that we may not be able to think of every possible word to describe something. It is anticipated that users will utilize some words that are more intuitive than the controlled descriptors developed by the creators.

Browsing options

Users will be provided with a number of different access points for the documents of this exhibit. Giving the user a variety of options in their search for information expands the recognition of the project by reaching out to users with different information needs and different preferences for searching for that information. A variety of access points may also lead to new discoveries on the part of the user. Finally, by documenting the usage of these various search and browse options, the creators can learn about the research habits of their community.
In all of these browsing options, an effort will be made to hyperlink terminology and names as much as possible, while remembering to maintain simplicity of navigation. It is important not to bombard the user with too many links or too much information at the start of their browsing. In general, the user will be presented with a bit of information that is accompanied by the option to click for more.

Browse by document type
This page is linked to by the about the documents page, and gives the user the option to browse by the following 4 document types:
-court documents
-newspaper articles
-scholarly articles
Each section will include a brief introduction to the document type (with links to the gloassary and a listing of the documents that can be sorted by date (newest/oldest) and title. This “sort by” function will resemble a dropdown menu in a database. Listing the documents by type is feasible because this project is relatively small in scope. For example, the court documents page will only list about 20 distinct documents. This page will also link to the about the documents page.

Browse by topic
Users will have the option to browse by the following topics:
-historians in the courtroom
-sexual discrimination in employment in the United States
-women and employment in the United States
-labor laws in the United States

These topics are by no means the only themes of this exhibit, but in an effort not to clutter the page, this section will keep its topics to some of the major themes these documents represent. Each topic will have a page that includes a brief introduction, a listing of the documents involved, and an annotated bibliography of works about the topic. Ideally, these sources would be linked to the corresponding records in a library catalog.
For example, the page on “historians in the courtroom” will feature:
- an overview of the debate over the role of historians and history in trials
- links to court documents concerned with the historians Rosenberg and Kessler-Harris, such as their testimonies
- links to newspaper and scholarly articles that discuss their involvement in the trial
- a bibliography of sources (books, journal articles, websites) that focus on this topic

Browse by calendar
This section will feature a list of all the documents included in the site, and can be sorted chronologically (newest/oldest) and alphabetically. Default view will be chronological, oldest first. These document titles will of course be linked to the actual transcripts of the documents.

Browse by prosecution or defense
This section includes a discussion the arguments of the prosecution and defense, the individuals involved, the arguments made by Rosenberg and Kessler-Harris, press and journal articles that include positions for or against each historian, etc. The testimonies, articles, and correspondence mentioned in the narrative will be linked to the transcripts of the documents. The “neutral” materials like press releases or court documents prepared by neither the prosecution or defense would be listed under into themes or types of document.
For example, the “prosecution page” will feature:
-an overview of how the EEOC developed a suit against Sears
-discussion of and link to document: “statistical analysis by Bernard Siskin, 1984”
-discussion of and links to other court documents, such as testimony of Kessler-Harris
-discussion of and links to articles and correspondence speaking a favor of the EEOC
-a calendar of “neutral” documents in the collection that do not fall under the “prosecution”
-a link to the “defense” page


Time line of the trial
This section features a brief overview of the time span of the entire process of the trail and an interactive time line. The time line will feature commentary and links to related documents starting in the early 1970’s, when the EEOC first began to charge Sears with discriminatory employment practices, the filing suit against Sears in October of 1979, events and leading up to the case, a day-by-day discussion of the trial itself (ending in September of 1984), and the post-trial discussion in the press an any other post-trial events.
This section incorporates a discussion of judicial activity before and after this case relating to sexual discrimination in the employment and pay equality. What were the political, cultural, and legal climates that lead up to this case, and what effect did this case have on future employment equality cases? This narrative will link to the browse by topic page.

This section will feature a hyperlinked glossary of legal and historical terminology, names of individuals and organizations, and other pertinent terminology. Each term will be briefly defined, and will invite the user to click for more information on documents in the collection that specifically relate to the term. When these terms appear throughout the narrative of the site, they will be linked to their specific location in the glossary. For example, when a user is reading about the historians’ conflicting testimonies and sees that Rosenberg is described as an “intellectual historian,” he or she can click on that term and be sent to its glossary page and learn the difference between interpreting other historians research and basing your theories on your own research, and how this distinction influenced case and the opinions of the historical community.
The glossary will appear as a list of hyperlinked terms, as opposed to one long document that requires scrolling. Glossary terms will also be annotated, as many definitions will be derived from outside sources. See below for annotation specifications.

Textual annotations
Annotations will be made on individuals, places, legal terms, historical resources (many were cited thought the course of the trial), historical theory, controversial quotes, and other textual items. They will provide any information about the documents that is not translated in transcription, such as physical appearance, notes in margins, multiple copies of the same document, locations of these copies, etc.
Annotations will appear in the form of footnotes, in which the footnote number appears after the word or phrase, and links to the annotation at the bottom of the document (pop-up annotations would not appear when printing the document). When a user clicks on an annotation, a window (the same URL) displaying the annotation text will open under new browser tab, therefore avoiding the need to scroll back up to the document text. This format is similar to the CSS basic format put forth by Archivia.

Teacher and student resources
This section will simply link back to the browse by topic page.

Links to relevant sites
This section will provide links to other projects, works, or archives that focus on this topic. Links to the finding aids of the collections and their respective institutions will be provided here.

This section will provide answers to basic questions involving technology (downloading, browser requirements, etc.), copyright, institutional relations, etc.

Interactive features

tagging and comments
Users have the option to tag documents (see user tags) and post comments on the documents and the narrative material of the site. These comments will appear in the same format at as the textual footnotes described above, but will be titled as “user comments”. They will also appear in a user comments section of the site, and will be searchable by title, date, and author. Comments will also be browse-able as chronological lists under the following categories: court documents, correspondence, newspaper articles, scholarly articles, and site narrative. The default view of the user comments section will chronological order, most recent first.

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