The Dick Thornburgh Papers

Using the Site

Created and hosted by the University Library System, the Dick Thornburgh Papers Web site encourages the investigation and exploration of material that document Thornburgh’s life and public service career, including his years as Governor of Pennsylvania, Attorney General of the United States, and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, among other notable positions.

Accessibility of the Web site

Organization and Content of the Web site
Searching the Web Site

Using the Contents List (Finding Aid)
Viewing and Printing Documents
Viewing Photographs
Ordering Photographic Reproductions
Listening and Viewing the Audio and Video Clips


Accessibility of the Web site

The Dick Thornburgh Papers Web site is comprised of both static HTML pages and dynamically generated content. The site's static pages have been tested and meet the W3C's (World Wide Web Consortium) priority Web Accessibility Checkpoints for "Bobby" compliance, and both the static and dynamic pages have been tested to ensure usability with screen reader software.


Organization and Content of the Web site

What content is online?

The Web site provides online access to various types of digitized content within the collection, namely textual documents, photographs, and audio and video clips. All the digitized documents in the categories listed below span multiple series and are presented in their totality with the exception of selected reports. Please note that these represent but a small portion of the documents in the entire collection.

Specifically, the digitized content comprises:

  • 5,115 documents
    • 76 Executive Orders (1979-1987)
    • 3,677 News Releases (1968-1992)
    • 110 Op-Eds (1966-2004)
    • 262 Reports (1954-1993)>
    • 761 Speeches and Testimony (1963-2004)
    • 229 Transcripts (1969-1992)
  • 488 photographs (1932-2004)
  • 31 audio clips (1979-1993)
  • 55 video clips (1978-1991)

Since the vast majority of the collection is not digitized, it may be necessary to come to the Archives Service Center to access additional material. It is advisable to make arrangements with the curator of the collection prior to your visit.

Series pages

The archival collection is divided into twenty-one series. A dedicated Web page exists for each individual series that serves to inform users of its scope, organization and content. At the top right-hand column of each series Web page, one can select links to retrieve related digitized items from that series.

For example, the “Governor of Pennsylvania” series page offers links to view “Related online text” and “Related online photographs” from this series as well as to retrieve “Related online audio and video.” Each series page also enables a deeper examination of the series by viewing the “Related contents list.” This link takes one to the portion of the finding aid that contains an inventory of the boxes and folders that comprise a series. More on using the contents list below.

Searching the Web Site

What is searchable?

The Web site features the ability to conduct a search over the resources made available on the site, specifically:

• Finding aid to each series (i.e., contents list or inventory)
• Digitized photographs
• Digitized textual documents (e.g., News Releases, Reports, Transcripts, etc.)

Conducting a search

The search page allows one to choose which type of resources to search (e.g., finding aid, photographs, or texts). Only one type of resource (or category) can be searched at a time. Selecting 'Digitized Texts' will by default search over all the documents selected for digitization. Note that the search engine will only find an exact match for your search.

Search terms can be truncated by inserting an asterisk (*) at the end of a term. For example, a search for crim* will retrieve crime and criminal. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) can be used to separate search fields. A search can be restricted to only a single year.

Note that a search conducted over the digitized texts is reliant upon the quality of the optical character recognition (OCR) results. Also note for photographs that one is searching the descriptive text accompanying each image.

Understanding search results

Only one category (i.e., finding aid, photos, texts) can be searched at a time. The serach results page for each category looks slightly different. For finding aids, the results set displays the name of the series, extent, abstract and search results. Select 'search terms in context' to see where your term is found within the finding aid. Select 'standard view' or 'full text' to view the entire finding aid in which case your term will be highlighted in yellow.

A search in the digitized photographs will return a list of thumbnails with the caption and year displayed beneath. Click on a thumbnail to view the larger image. Your search term will be shown in red text.

A search in the digitized text will return a list of all the categories of records that were scanned that contain a match of your search term. The list on the left-hand side displays how many matches occurred from within each category (e.g., executive orders, news releases, etc.). Click 'view results' to see just the results from that category. With the exception of the Reports, the search results present the retrieved items within each resource category in chronological order.


Using the Finding Aid (or Contents List)

Each series page on the Web site provides access to the finding aid (i.e., contents list) for the series. Selecting the “Related contents list” link from a series page will subsequently display the entire finding aid for that series.

The information displayed in the column on the left provides an outline of the series, including links to summary and administrative information. More importantly, note that this outline lists the names of the numbered subseries contained within the series. This shows the detail of each series and permits direct navigation to each subseries. Note that each subseries also contains an important description of its contents, followed by a box and folder item list. Further note that the subseries titles and related subsections are presented in bold for ease of recognition.

Because several of the series are quite large, it may take several seconds for the contents list to load on your Web browser. We recommend that you do not attempt to print the entire contents list, especially for the Governor of Pennsylvania and Attorney General series, due to their length. Instead, we recommend selecting a subseries for printing, one at a time. However, if you elect to print an entire smaller series contents list, note that there is an option to “Go to a printable version of this finding aid.”

Viewing and Printing Documents

Viewing documents

By default, page images are viewable in Adobe Acrobat’s PDF reader. You will need to download this free reader to view the texts.

There are two methods for accessing “scanned” or “digitized” documents within the collection.

• To view related documents from a series Web page, select the “Related online text” link. The Web browser will then display a list of documents retrieved from the set of scanned texts (i.e., Executive Orders, News Releases, etc.). Note that the left-hand column shows the number of related documents available for viewing within each text category. This enables the browsing or printing of lists of related documents. Select “view first page” to see the item.

• To view documents retrieved as a result of conducting a search, select the 'View first page' link. The document you selected for viewing will appear. If instead you select 'Results detail,' you will be presented with a list of all the places in the document where your search term occurred. They will be highlighted in yellow. Select the hyperlinked “page number” to view the specific page, or select the “view first page” to be taken to the first page of the document.

Within the pageviewer, one can “turn” page images using the next and previous buttons. One can also randomly jump to any page within the document using the drop-down page feature.

Printing documents

To print a document, use Adobe’s print function from its toolbar. Note that only one page image can be printed at a time.

Viewing Photographs

When viewing a photographic image, click on the thumbnail image to view the full image. Note that one can resize the image as well as use the zooming tool to examine a portion of an image in greater detail. Descriptive information accompanies each photograph.

Ordering Photographic Reproductions

Reproductions are available for all the photographic images within the online collection. A link to an ordering form accompanies each image. For more information, please visit the Archives Service Center photograph reproduction Web page.

Listening and Viewing the Audio and Video Clips

Audio files

The archival collection as a whole contains 547 audio files reformatted to CD for listening at the Archives Service Center. However, 31 of these items (approximately 9 hours of aggregated content) were selected for online access. The audio files are arranged chronologically and grouped by series; each title notes the length of the audio file.

Each of the MP3 audio files can be streamed to your device for listening. Be sure you have the most recent version of your favorite media player, such as Windows Media Player, Real Player, or iTunes.

Video files

The archival collection as a whole contains 247 videos reformatted to DVD for viewing at the Archives Service Center. However, 55 of these items (approximately 15 hours of aggregated content) were selected for online access. The video clips are arranged chronologically and grouped by series; each title notes the length of the video file.

Each of the video files can be streamed to your device for viewing. Depending on your Internet connection speed, note that you have a choice of streaming the clip via a dial-up connection or broadband connection. You also are presented with two media player choices: Windows Media Player or QuickTime. Once you make your selection (and assuming you always connect to the Thornburgh site with this device), you will not be prompted again to make this choice. The video plays in a pop-up window.


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