Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection
  Indiana University Archives / Digital Library Program

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Web Site Overview

What's Inside?
The Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection web site contains approximately 14,500 photographs with accompanying descriptive information as well as contextual information such as essays, collection descriptions and an illustrated timeline, to name a few. The web site also contains project-related information such as cataloging and technical information. Online access to the Cushman Collection is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

How's the site organized?
The web site is organized as follows:

Home page contains introductory information about the collection. A grid of hyperlinked thumbnail images representing the various genres evident in Cushman's work is also presented for further exploration. Each thumbnail links to the "Details" page which contains a larger image and descriptive information available for that image.

Overview contains information about Charles Cushman himself, the photographs he took, and the context in which he lived. Of special interest are the in-depth, illustrated essays, which explore Cushman's documentation of urban America as well as Cushman's connection to other documentary photographers.

Browse contains several options for exploring the collection: browse by year, location, subject and genre.

The location browse is hierarchical: by country then state (for United States) or city (for all other countries).

The subject and genre terms available for browsing come from the Thesaurus of Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms (TGM I) and Thesaurus of Graphic Materials II: Genre & Physical Characteristics Terms (TGM II) respectively.

Subject browsing utilizes the structure of the controlled vocabulary (TGM I) in order to promote meaningful discovery of the photographs described in the Cushman Collection. For more information about how the subject browse works, visit Subject Browse Tips.

For further information about the controlled vocabularies used to describe the collection, visit the Cataloging Information page.

Cushman kept extensive records of his photographs. We have digitized these notes, in addition to his photographs. To explore Cushman's records, you can browse his notebooks. Most notebook pages provide links to view the corresponding roll of photographs. Access to the notebooks is also possible in the Results and Details pages via the linked roll number.

Search provides a keyword search box in which both simple and complex queries can be formulated (for more information, read the Keyword Search Tips).

The Advanced Search page, where you can search for terms in specific fields, is accessible via the Keyword Search page.

Highlights is designed to help first time visitors understand the breadth and scope of Cushman's work. A slide show comprised of a sampling of Cushman's photographs is available as well as an illustrated timeline of major events in Cushman's life.

Most images in this section can be clicked for further information. Exceptions include images not taken by Charles Cushman such as childhood photos of the photographer.

Project Info
Project Info contains information related to the project itself, including the grant proposal, cataloging and technical information, and contributors to name a few.

Site Guide
Site Guide contains a web site overview, which is a description of the organization of the web site and how it works as well as an annotated site map.

Where can I find help?
Context-sensitive help is provided in the browse, search and results pages of this web site. Look for the red question-mark icon (see example below) towards the top-right corner of your screen -- next to the breadcrumbs.

Example of Help and Breadcrumbs Trail

Context-sensitive help will open a new, slightly smaller window that you can keep open as a reference while exploring the collection.

Browser settings should be set to enable JavaScript for the pop-up help to function. If JavaScript is disabled for other reasons, the context-sensitive help will still work, but it will open a new, full-size window instead.

How do I navigate within the site?
Use the top navigation bar to explore the major areas of the site. Breadcrumb links are also available on the top right of every page to help you backtrack if necessary. Breadcrumbs are particularly helpful when you are "deep" in the web site (see example of breadcrumbs above).

In addition to these two consistent navigation structures, the web site is filled with interactive content to encourage exploration: essays can contain links to new searches or specific images; results pages can instantly lead to new searches, and so on.

How do I access the contents?
There are two primary ways to access the photographs in the collection: browse and search. Contextual information is often interactive: certain linked phrases displayed on these pages generate searches and images shown are almost always linked to lead to more information about that image in particular.

How is the content presented?
Browse and search results are presented as two views: brief and detailed. The default brief view contains a thumbnail image (200 pixels, long side), which is clickable, with a small, but identifying, amount of descriptive information. Displays containing thumbnails only and captions only are also available.

The thumbnail image or the "View Details" link leads to the Details page which contains a larger image (600 pixels, long side) and all the descriptive information available for that image.

From the Details page, a link to the largest image (1000 pixels, long side) is available.

Questions? Comments!
We are interested in what you have to say about the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection web site.

Throughout the development of the web site, various usability studies were conducted to ensure the web site is as intuitive and helpful as possible. If you encounter display or functionality problems, please email us.

Feel free to send questions or comments you may have to We look forward to hearing from you.