How to Use This Site
The heart of the project’s web site, is the interface for browsing and searching for agreements. Click on the menu item “Browse Agreements” and it will open.
When opened for the first time, all 26 agreements in the database will be listed. Each has a large, light blue, clickable title, a thumbnail representing the document, and some information from the Dublin Core “description” field (showing such information as the article, section and pages where the language appeared in the full agreement).
Clicking on an agreement’s title will lead you to a full page devoted to that agreement. Each of the Dublin Core elements: title, creator, date, coverage ... and so forth, is listed there. On the right side of the page is a panel listing the date the document was added to the database, the collection it is part of (at this point there is only one collection on this site), and a suggested citation for the document, generated by Omeka.
Back on the main Browse Agreements page, if you click on any thumbnail, the program will lead you to a pdf file scanned from the original paper agreement—just the language regarding new technology, not the full agreement. At the top of the agreement is a form that was filled out at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when the document was originally photocopied. It contains a variety of useful metadata that I used in entering the information for each document.
Returning to the Browse Agreements page once again, click on the “search items” title just under the main heading. This will open a search form that allows the user to search the agreements in a variety of ways. The most relevant part of this form, for this project, is the part that says “Narrow by Specific Fields.” Clicking on the box that says “Select Below” will open a list of Dublin Core elements that the user can pick to narrow a search. The next box has some Boolean-like expressions that can be chosen ("contains," "does not contain," "is exactly" an so on). In the third box, the user can enter a term, or terms for the search.
Let’s try an example. If I pick “Coverage” in the first box, “contains” in the second box, enter "FL" in the third box and then press "enter" on my keyboard, the database will present me with a page listing the two agreements where Florida is one of the states covered by the agreement.
If I return to the search page, I can execute another sample search. If I enter “Creator,” “contains” and “UAW,” I find five agreements that include the United Auto Workers as a party to the agreement.
For one final example, let’s suppose I know a specific agreement’s Department of Labor ID number as entered at the top of the original paper form. I can find it by searching for the number under the Dublin Core field “Identifier.” If I search for 2545, just to pick one, I will see one agreement, between the United Steelworkers and the USX Corporation, that has that unique identifier.
While we have this Steelworkers contract up, let’s look at one more highly relevant feature that this project has. In the right column of the page you will see a section titled “Output Formats,” and several links, including “atom,” “ dcmes-xml,” and “json.” Clicking on any of these links will cause a file containing metadata for the agreement to download in the format listed. For this project, because we are interested in Dublin Core, click on “dcmes-xml.” This will cause a file to download, in the XML format, containing the Dublin Core Metadata Element set for this particular contract. You can view this file by opening it in a plain text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit. Alternatively, you could open it in an editor or development environment designed for web coding, such as Dreamweaver. A word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, will not work.
The file should contain the following metadata:
<?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE rdf:RDF PUBLIC "-//DUBLIN CORE//DCMES DTD 2002/07/31//EN"
There are a variety of other ways to search or browse the interface and to view the contract language. Feel free to explore. However, for the purposes of this project’s goals, you have now seen the main capabilities of the system.