Analysis and Planning Presentation

Capstone Project
Project Origin and User Group
Collection Contents
Collection Analysis
Origin of the Collection
The project was funded by two $20,000 “TexTreasures” grants awarded
by the Texas State Library and Archives commission
1st grant: Awarded in 1999 for the purpose of digitizing 13 early Texas
constitutions and declarations, creating a website to house them,
and publishing them online.
2nd grant: Application submitted in 2002. The purpose of this grant was
to fund the digitization of convention materials for 8 of the
constitutions, creating reliable indices and making links in the
User Group
Target user group is unspecified…
Goal 1: “To make important Texas historical and legal material readily accessible to
members of the public.”
Goal 2: “To make unique Special Collections materials available to users at
institutions throughout the state.”
Goal 4: “To make information… available to library users across the state.”
Goal 5: “To enhance the education of a wide range of library users.”
Objective 3: “Enable users with disabilities to access the versions of the Texas
Constitution and convention materials without difficulty.
Objectives of project closely match the interests of Texas State Library
Commission, the project’s sponsor.
The collection is made up of 13 core documents.
Eight of these documents have material relating to the
conventions in which they were drafted. Convention
materials are stored as PDFs and are fully crossreferenced with their primary documents.
Documents exist both as plain text coded into HTML pages
and JPEG images. Pages displaying the images are
linked from pages containing plain text.
Mexican Constitutions
The first three documents of the collection are the Mexican
Constitutions by which Texas was governed before its
1. Federal Constitution of the United States of Mexico (1824)
2. The Constitution of the State of Coahuila and Texas (1827)
3. Constitution or Form of Government of the State of Texas (1833)
The collection contains images of the original Spanish documents. The
plain text HTML rendering has been translated into English. By
whom is not known, citation is not given.
The three 1836 documents pertain to Texan revolt and sovereignty.
These are the documents of the wartime government, the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the new
4. Declaration, with Plan and Powers of the Provisional Government of Texas (1836)
• Ordinances and Decrees of the Consultation
5. Declaration of Independence (1836)
6. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836)
• Journals of the Convention, 1836
The Declaration of Independence is a single page with just one image.
The Declaration with Plan and Powers has multiple articles spread
across just 3 pages.
Admission to US and Secession
First constitutions as part of the United States.
7. The Constitution of Texas (1845) Joining the U.S
• Journal of the Convention, 1845
• Debates of the Convention, 1845
8. The Constitution of Texas (1861) Seceding from the U.S
• Journals of the Convention, 1861
9. The Constitution of Texas (1866) Rejoining the U.S.
• Journals of the Convention, 1866
Readmission to the Union and reconstruction of Government. Also included is
a proposed constitution for a State of West Texas.
10. The Constitution of the State of West Texas (1868)
• Ordinances passed by the Constitutional Convention, 1868
11. The Constitution of Texas (1869) Reconstruction Constitution
• Journals of the Reconstruction Convention, 1868
12. The Constitution of Texas (1876)
• Journals of the Convention, 1875
• Debates of the Convention, 1875
Index and Keyword Search
A subject index exists that crossreferences all constitutions. It contains dozens of subject headings
and is organized alphabetically.
Users can search the collection by
keyword. An off-site application
crawls both html pages and PDF
Convention materials tend to be ranked
above constitutions, suggesting that
search does not normalize document
length effectively.
Navigational Bar with External Materials
Navigation of the collection is displayed
on the left side of the browser window.
Many of these links lead to information
that is redundant or external to the
Phase 1: Analysis
To best analyze the contents of the Texas Constitutions collection I
created diagrams illustrating the organization of each document.
Every document is organized somewhat
differently. The diagrams help visualize
each organization scheme and march
image pages with text pages.
The task of mapping allowed me
to identify irregularities in the
collection’s organizational system.
- Organizational Structure of existing collection is sound.
~ Fragmenting documents by sections and articles is
preferable to viewing whole document.
~ Functionality of indices is dependant upon current
organizational structure.
- Images should be displayed alongside text.
~ Bandwidth no longer the constraint that it had been.
- Improvement of navigation a top priority.
~ Existing navigation not useful for viewing collection
~ Collection navigation accessed through special pages (table
of contents, index) rather than appearing on all pages.
Phase 2: Planning
Mock ups – I wanted to emphasize navigation with the new design.
introduced a sustained border across the top and left-hand side of the
window that contains the user’s navigational options.
I also included the
Tarlton banner and
the UT tower banner
to provide a sense
for the amount of
screen space given
to administrative
Navigation and Display
Links to the index pages are arrayed
alphabetically across the header.
The user can navigate
between documents using
the links displayed on
the left-side nav bar.
A table of contents could
be produced dynamically
with Javascript.
Display JPEG images
alongside plain text.
Constructing a Database
One of the original goals of this project was to migrate the Texas
Constitutions collection into a database and make its content
dynamic. Several advantages can be gained from doing this:
– More Flexibility: It’s easier to update and change certain parts of the collection
without affecting the whole.
– Automatic cross-referencing: A relational database allows the system to make
connections between entities.
– Ability to customize server-side applications that are right for the collection: We
could create a better search application.
While a database offers more capabilities, the cost of implementing them is high.
Entity Relationship Diagram
This diagram illustrates how
I would connect tables in
the collection’s database.
All elements in the collection
depend on concatenated
keys: document and page.
I separated these into different tables to meet 2 nd
normal form. Since remaining relations were many-tomany, I sequestered all other
elements to special tables
and connected them with the
Pages foreign key.
Phase 3: Development
Create Title page
Code new page style
Build Javascript menus for
Tables of Contents
Embed JPEG images into
Create magnifying function
Migrate Information
• Build string parser to collect data
from index
• Migrate page and image names
into database manually
• Create a PHP application that
queries database and generates
• Create PHP program that
collects user’s search queries,
queries database to find term
occurrence and ranks returns.
The Database Question…
Is a database right for this collection or are the benefits it offers
Is it worth the time and resources to make one?
Is it helpful to have images displayed alongside text?
Is too much screen space devoted to administrative tools?
Do the visuals need more pop? Too bland?

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