Today we are featuring a guest post from an important member of the Omeka community, Jess Waggoner. After the creation of the Grateful Dead Archive Online at UC-Santa Cruz, managed by Robin Chandler, the team saw several opportunities for new plugins to help manage launching such a large and involved site. Here, Jess writes about lessons learned about that project and the needs of a large institutional library’s data coordination and workflow management, and plugins that reflect that work.
Jess Waggoner is a Digital Projects Librarian at the UC Santa Cruz University Library. She is the Project Manager for the library’s IMLS-funded Omeka Curator Dashboard project.
In 2008 the University Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz embarked on a major project to digitize materials from our recently acquired Grateful Dead Archive and make them publicly available online. We sought a tool that would both provide a flexible interface for accessing these archival materials and manage the integration of “crowd-sourced” digital objects into the collection. The library selected Omeka as the platform for our Grateful Dead Archive Online (or GDAO), and with funding support from the IMLS for this project, we had great success using Omeka as our platform to build a community supported archive.
As the GDAO project wrapped up, we began to contemplate more expansive use of Omeka for exhibiting our other digital collections and could we integrate Omeka with our digital curation workflows. However, we quickly ran into some workflow and curatorial management questions: how would we import objects into Omeka from our CONTENTdm digital asset management system or the upcoming UC-wide digital collections? how would we make bulk changes to metadata after the objects were imported to Omeka? how would we push objects from Omeka into our archival repository, Merritt? After our success with GDAO, the answer dawned on us, “Let’s build some Omeka plugins!”
In the euphoria that accompanies the awareness of seemingly endless possibilities, we concluded that our development work should focus on curatorial workflow tools, metadata and file management tools, and additional crowd-sourcing tools. Since any Omeka plugins we developed would be made available to the entire Omeka community, we also consulted with other Omeka users and community members to assist us in prioritizing our development goals. We were awarded an IMLS grant to assist us in the creation of these Omeka plugins, and the Omeka Curator Dashboard project was officially launched.
The Omeka Curator Dashboard (or “the OCD” as we endearingly refer to it) is a suite of fifteen plugins (though a bonus sixteenth will be coming soon!) designed to facilitate object import and export, manage metadata, and curate collections. Several of our plugins are already available on the official list of Omeka plugins. The others are still undergoing testing, but can be downloaded from the UCSC Library GitHub in the meanwhile. We are actively soliciting feedback on these plugins from the Omeka user community so we can continue to improve their features and interfaces. Please drop us a line and let us know what you think!
Following is a brief overview of the fifteen OCD plugins and a sneak preview of the upcoming sixteenth plugin.
Allows Omeka administrators to perform metadata changes on multiple objects based on selected criteria.
Allows Omeka administrators to review objects added to the site by Omeka users of lower roles prior to their publication.
Import YouTube videos and their associated metadata. Videos are embedded into the Omeka item record. Metadata are crosswalked to the standard Dublin Core fields in Omeka.
Displays a log of curatorial actions (uploads, metadata changes, etc.) in an item record and generates curatorial reports by collection, user, or action.
Import images and their associated metadata from flickr. Metadata are crosswalked to the standard Dublin Core fields in Omeka.
Export Omeka items as METS objects.
Push Omeka objects into the UC3 Merritt archival repository. Metadata in METS format and any files associated with the Omeka object are ingested into Merritt as a single object.
Allows Omeka administrators to assign select viewers with custom display profiles based on the item type, collection, or file format. For example, items of the type “Synchronized Oral History” can be viewed exclusively using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (or OHMS – one of the default viewers included in the plugin).
Based on the Library of Congress Suggest plugin developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, the Getty Suggest plugin allows Omeka administrators to assign metadata elements to a designated Getty vocabulary (currently: TGN, AAT, and ULAN). Autosuggestions from the assigned vocabulary appear as the Omeka administrator enters metadata in the selected elements.
Import objects and their metadata from your CONTENTdm collection.
Based on the Simple Vocab plugin developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Simple Vocab Plus allows Omeka administrators to assign metadata elements to a designated custom vocabulary. The custom vocabulary can be stored in Omeka or synced to a cloud-based plain text file. Autosuggestions from the assigned vocabulary appear as the Omeka administrator enters metadata in the selected elements.
This plugin was developed for use with the UC Library Digital Collections (UCLDC) based in Nuxeo, but could be forked to work with other Nuxeo-based collections. Nuxeo Link allows Omeka administrators to import digital objects and their associated metadata from the UCLDC. Metadata are crosswalked to the standard Dublin Core fields in Omeka or mapped to the UCLDC schema depending on configuration.
Quickly and easily contact all of your contributors via email.
Upload non-item images to your Omeka site and retrieve an image URL that can be used in banner images, carousels, etc.
Generates a dynamic XML sitemap for your Omeka site to assist in search engine optimization.
Coming Soon! Import Vimeo videos and their associated metadata. Videos are embedded into the Omeka item record. Metadata are crosswalked to the standard Dublin Core fields in Omeka.
To learn more about the OCD project or follow our progress, please see our official Omeka Curator Dashboard project site. You can also watch this video of a presentation about the OCD given at the UCSC Omeka Symposium in May 2015.