I'm thinking of using Omeka for a very different project-a modular resource site we're building at UVA for our Writing Program.
On first glance this doesn't seem an archive, but the way we're conceiving the site seems to fit the Omeka model. We're planning modules on different writing principles, each of which will include resources such as images, video, and of course text. Some of these resources will be referenced in more than one module.
Omeka seems like it might be a good option because we can keep images, text, and video in the database and then build exhibits for each module, calling on resources in given modules as needed.
Many of the folks working on this project are not coders or web designers, so I also like the approachability of Omeka for less technically inclined folks-we can concentrate on content rather than learning code.
Is anyone else using Omeka for a similar project? Am I off base thinking it might meet our needs? If so, is there a better platform for such a project that I should be considering?
Thanks for your input.
Thanks for your inquiry. I think that Omeka might be a good choice. We really do have people using it for all sorts of things, including teaching.
In the Fall I'm going to use it to build inquiry modules for my Junior seminar. Each module will be organized around an inquiry question and the narrative text that will accompany the primary sources will consist of reading/analysis guidance and critical questions. That seems like it might be similar to the kinds of things you're thinking of doing. Additionally, my students will be using Omeka to assemble edited collections, each with a critical introduction. These will look more like traditional exhibits.
You might also want to look at our Making of the History of 1989 project <http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/>. It's built with Omeka and really doesn't look much like a traditional museum exhibit -- rather, it has a collection of primary sources, teaching modules, and teaching case studies. Might be more of what you're looking for.
Hope that helps with your decision.
The "MoH" project does look very good, and the aesthetic--modules that students move through--is similar to what we're thinking about. What kind of coding experience would we need to build that kind of front-end for Omeka, though? As you note, that project looks very different from the "out of the box" Omeka archive-what kind of technical expertise would we need to customize in similar ways?
Our general response on those sorts of questions is that if you can hire a designer who is good at working with Wordpress, that person should be able to design for Omeka.
There is a big list of helper functions in the documentation for the software that will assist the designer in calling items and fields from the archive into the exhibit layouts. That plus some create uses of collections and tagging should provide you with the flexibility that you need.