This post documents further adventures using Omeka, this time to build a site and set up an exhibit therein.

Making the decisions on what to call the site and what it should be about was more difficult than actually setting up the site, which only required entering these details in the appropriate boxes.

Screenshot showing the Add a Site page on

Adding items to the site and entering metadata into the Dublin Core fields went smoothly, being a known process already discussed in an earlier post.

To install the required plugins, I only had to go to plugins in the navigation bar and then click install next to the ones I needed.

Screenshot showing the installation of plugins.

Next I started to build an exhibit from some of the items I had uploaded, this was begin by selecting Exhibits from the left hand menu. From here I could add an exhibit, give it a name and description, and start adding pages. I also added some navigation instructions here.

Screenshot showing the exhibit editing page

I decided to let each page I added cover some extent of time for which I could include at least a couple of the items I had added to the site. The breakdown I ended with is seen below. The pages had to be reordered to be in chronological sequence, which was merely a matter of dragging them into the right order.

Screenshot showing the ordering and adding of exhibit pages in Omeka.

Entering the editing for each page, I had to choose more titles, and then select what type of blocks I wanted to use to build the page. For this project I simply chose file. Adding each file block prompted me to choose which item(s) I wanted to appear there, and to add captions explaining what I wanted viewers of the exhibit to know about the items I grouped together in each page. Again, these blocks could be (and were) reorganized by dragging them into a sensible order.

To get the exhibit to be accessible from the home page, I added it to the top navigation bar, using the Appearance settings in the admin bar to find my way to where said navigation bar could be edited.

Screenshot showing the editing of the navigation options for the new site being built with Omeka.

As seen above in what I selected as a Homepage, I also added an Introduction page to the site using Simple Pages in the lefthand menu. This was again very straightforward, though I had to remember how to use HTML tags again. Here I explained what the site was about and how to use it to either view the exhibit or browse all items.

Screenshot showing the editing of an Introduction Homepage for the new site built with Omeka.

This Project looks at examples of how Omeka can be used by comparing two sites, both made with Omeka. 

The first is The Public Art Collection from Eastern Michigan University, and displays photos of artworks from various areas of Michigan, mostly found on university campuses. The metadata for each photo are not overly standardized. Each photo has a unique identifier number and reports who contributed each photo and when, but other fields may or may not be used and not always in uniform manner.

One example is the type of title: some titles provide only the name of the artwork, some describe the piece, what it is, where it is, and even the angle it was taken from. The site is easy to navigate, having a search function and different ways to sort the items. 

The search and sorting options for the Area Public Art Collection Omeka site.
The search and sorting options for the Area Public Art Collection Omeka site.

The second is the Reitman V. Mulkey site from Reed University, which walks users through the context and ramifications of the Supreme Court case concerning housing discrimination. There are separate pages that can be navigated through using arrows at the bottom of the screen or by clicking the page title in the header.

The header bar with pages listed to navigate through the site's storyline/argument.
The header bar with pages listed to navigate through the site’s storyline/argument.

The first page, “Browse” is where items are listed with their metadata. Items include maps, documents, photos, and books. Even so, this information (type, format, medium) is not part of the metadata, which instead focusses on a detailed paragraph in the description field, and also has date, creator, publisher, and source fields filled in.

Like the other site, there is a search function and different ways to sort the items – the same options as above. 

These two sites have very different purposes, one constructs an argument about the Reitman V. Mulkey case, and the other simply catalogues artwork found on Michigan campuses. Both have items with metadata, but that metadata differs according to that differing purpose. Both are easy to navigate and share much the same features, though the second site contains explanatory pages not found on the first.



This project involved inputting two items to our class’s shared Omeka site. The process was straightforward and easy to figure out. Upon registering for the trial level account, the Omeka site for Hist5891 that I had been invited to was there at the bottom of the page. 

Clicking Manage Site (see above) brought me to a page where there was an option to add an item (see below). 

This in turn brought me to a page wherein I could enter metadata into Dublin Core fields. For my first item, I was working with the book Byzantium between the Ottomans and the Latins by Nevra Necipoğlu. Many fields were self-explanatory as to what information was to be put there. For instance, the title of the book clearly belonged in the first field “title,” the author’s name in the field “creator,” and the publisher in the field “publisher.” Referring to an explanation of the fields cleared up what was to go in the other fields. Subject entries and description were copied from the publisher’s website. Since I was the one contributing the book to this site, I put my name as the contributor. Some fields were not applicable for this source, such as “relation,” since there are no important related resources appropriate to such a field for this book. Format details were copied from the Amazon listing for this book. For “type” I had initially entered “hardcover,” forgetting that we were to use DCMI-Type Vocabulary, which only requires the more vague term “text.”

Finally I added a jpeg of the cover of this book, by clicking on the “Files” tab at the top of the page, and choosing the file to upload. From there it was a matter of clicking “Save Changes.” and this first item was added to the list. 

 Cover of Byzantium between the Ottomans and the Latins

For my second item, I used the restored version of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. For this icon, the metadata was largely supplied from its listing on ARTstor. While being a very different object, and the metadata entered respectively different, the process of figuring out what information goes where was straightforward enough.

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