Preservation of Omeka exhibits and Neatline assets?


I am new to using Omeka, but I have searched the forums (and elsewhere) and have found very little on my question so figured I would post.

My library has been approached by a professor who would like us to install an instance of Omeka with Neatline so that his class can create an interactive exhibit/map of locations in Barcelona found in some books that they will be reading.

I think this will be a really great project, but I am concerned about preservation of it as well. I can't really seem to find much about how one can export and preserve Omeka/Neatline content. Are there any ways for doing this? My supervisor wants the project archived and deposited into the institutional repository, and I told her I don't really know if that's possible. From what I can see, keeping the assets available means keeping the software operational in perpetuity. (not that we wouldn't want to do this, but it is nice to know that projects created within this framework can live on outside of it.)

Please let me know if there are strategies I have overlooked, or any other information on this topic. Thanks so much!


There are a couple options, depending on the specifics of what your IR wants and needs. To keep everything, including the web pages themselves, you could look into Archive-it. Especially for Neatline content, that seems like it would preserve the most important things.

For just the files and metadata, since version 2.1, Omeka has an API that will let you grab the data and files. Plugins might or might not expose their data via the same API. Caleb McDaniel recently built a Python script that will make a CSV file from data in the API.

Thanks so much for the answer. Yeah, it seemed really unclear how data from Neatline could be exported in all of the support threads I have read. It looks like a wonderfully rich add-on, and I can see a lot of potential uses for it here. We don't have an Archive It subscription, but perhaps it's something we would want to look into.

I'll add here that shapes drawn in Neatline are stored in the WKT format ( which is understood by most GIS software. Depending on what you mean by preserving Neatline content, the data can be easily preserved as database snapshots. If it's the interface, I think the best thing might to be to crawl your site with a tool like wget and create a snapshot of the site(s).


Hi Wayne,
Thanks for that. I think this really cuts to the heart of the matter....trying to preserve a dynamic resource is a difficult challenge, as it brings up questions as to what aspects you actually want to preserve, and how to go about doing it. I am not exactly sure if it will ultimately be the site or the maps (maybe both?) that we will want to archive.

I had read about the WKT files on the Neatline site, but it was unclear to me if they could be easily exported/extracted from the system or not.

Hi staceyerdman

The only "hard" part is that MySQL stores the WKT as a binary, but there's a SQL function to pull it out. You would basically do this:

SELECT AsText(coverage) FROM omeka_neatline_records;

This will output the raw WKT strings. You can get fancy and select the values in to a CSV file for longer-term storage (see