As this grant ends, Omeka has exceeded our expectations in its growth and adoption across the cultural heritage sector. We have fostered a strong open source community that continues to thrive. CHNM is committed to supporting this community and its software, which we ourselves use for many of our in-house digital cultural heritage projects. Omeka.net is a key part of this sustainability strategy and its “freemium” fee structure will allow CHNM to cover the increased server space and maintenance costs required to run a hosted application. Prices for paid plans range from $50/year to $1000/year for institutional users. Financial and legal services and basic operations for Omeka.net are handled by the not-for-profit Corporation for Digital Scholarship, which will return revenues (minus expenses) from paid Omeka.net plans to CHNM for continued Omeka development.
With this view to the long term, development of Omeka proceeds towards a version 2.0. We are especially pleased to report that the Library of Congress has recently awarded CHNM and its partners at University of Virginia’s Scholars’ Lab nearly $700,000 over two years to fund regular point releases, improved documentation, development community support, user studies, key enhancements to the plugin API, and a set of geo-temporal visualization tools. Omeka will also continue to grow with our newly-awarded IMLS National Leadership Grant to fund a pilot of the Omeka Commons. The Commons will offer a select group of Omeka institutional users an easy, one-click option for adding their collections to a central preservation grade repository to provide institutions with both a low-overhead preservation pathway for their materials, and greater community exposure and engagement. Second, Omeka Commons will provide researchers with immeasurably greater and centralized discovery and open access to the small collections contained in Omeka sites across the web. Meeting these aims will require significant work will also require enhancements to the core Omeka software, a new Omeka Commons server, and design and production of the Omeka Commons discovery portal. We look forward to getting started with that work in the coming two years, so that we can offer the Commons option to all Omeka users.
The Omeka team thanks the IMLS for funding the Omeka project between 2007 and 2010 and for funding our move into the development of the Omeka Commons pilot.