To help project managers think about how to organize an Omeka site, we offer a few case studies of projects developed at CHNM. Please add your own case study as you finish your Omeka sites.
First, for advice on thinking about what your site is about, how to handle images, how to buy a domain name, and other details, you might want to browse through Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and, Presenting the Past on the Web, by Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig.
You may also want to consult articles written about using Omeka for teaching, building exhibits, and managing collections in our public Zotero library.
- Exhibit Case Study
- Teaching Case Study
- Using Omeka for mobile content delivery
Tips on dissecting an Omeka site
- When trying to determine how to organize and build your site, take a look at the Showcase. When viewing a site built in Omeka look at different page URLs to clue you in as to how the project is organized.
- Example: When looking at Making the History of 1989, you see there is a section of Introductory Essays. When you click on this section, or any of the essays, you will see from the URL that this section was built as an exhibit. Here is the link to the http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/exhibits/intro/poland.
- Example: Look at Children and Youth in History Click on the Case Studies tab, and you will find that each case study is an individual item in the archive. They created an item type called "case study" and this is what is called to display for this section. See, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/case-studies/122.
Tips on Planning
See Site Planning Tips for more specific ways to plan ahead for building an Omeka site.
Before starting to work with Omeka, it is useful to sketch out wireframes of site to help to plan how you want the public site to look and how you want visitors to access and use the content in your site. Planning the content and then think about how Omeka can work best for your project.
Items The item is the building block of your site. First add the objects and materials you want to display in your site, then you can build an exhibit with them or display categories of items organized by collections or tags.
Diagram of an Archive of Items:
- Items: Each item contains Dublin Core and Item Type metadata; an item can belong to one collection at a time, and have an infinite number of tags. Items may contain many or no files.
- Collections: May be comprised of different items. Items may only belong to one collection a time.
- Tags: Tags can be added to any item, and an item may contain an infinite number of tags.
- It is wise to determine before you start building the item archive what type of consistencies you desire in your metadata--this may be especially true for fields such as date, publisher, creator, et al.
- You may also want to establish a controlled tagging schema. You can add tags before building your archive to help control vocab and spelling. Tags can help you pull together different items for the purpose of arranging them on a map or creating navigational links to browse items with a specific tag.
- Exhibits: The exhibit builder is not necessarily only for building museum-like exhibits, as shown by the examples above. This function can be used to publish essays or teaching materials that draw upon the items in your archive.
- Before you build an exhibit, it is easier if you have a storyboard or outline that spells out the sections, pages, and items for each page.