Collections are groups of Omeka items. Collections may be used in a variety of contexts that make the most sense for your archive.

In Omeka Classic, an item can only belong to one collection. Collections can, of course, have multiple items. The concept of Omeka collections originates from museum and archives collections; one cannot put a document into more than one box. It is not necessary to follow a traditional interpretation of a collection, say by owner or donor.

Collections have no hierarchy, unless you install the Collection Tree plugin in order to have a nested collections. Items in collections have no set order, unless you install the Item Order plugin and rearrange your items.

The following screencast covers creating collections and adding items to those collections, as well as how to use the Collection Tree and Item Order plugins:

Managing Collections in Omeka Classic from Omeka on Vimeo.

You can also use tags to organize similar items into categories.

The following screencast can help you determine when you would like to use collections or tags:

Omeka Classic: Managing Collections and Tags from Omeka on Vimeo.

Create a Collection

  1. Click on the "Collections" tab in the left navigation bar from the Dashboard. Any collections you have created will be listed on the admin/collections page.
  2. To create a new collection, click, "Add a Collection.".
  3. You may assign a full complement of Dublin Core metadata to any collection, or simply create a title and description.
  4. To make your collection public, check the "Public" box under the "Add Collection" button. Likewise, to feature your collection, check "Feature."
  5. When you are finished adding metadata, clicking "Add Collection."

Now that you have created a collection you may associate an item with this collection, from the items/add or items/edit pages. Read more below.

A screenshot of the Add a Collection page, with no metadata entered

Adding Items to Collections

To add items to collections, you must first create the collection. See the Items documentation to read more about associating an item with a collection. An item may only belong to one collection a time. You may switch an item from one collection to another at any time.

Items can only be added to a collection from the Item's edit page or the browse items page.

From the item edit page, use the dropdown menu on the right hand side, under the "Save Changes" button, to select a collection.

Dropdown menu in the item edit page is emphasized with a teal arrow

From the "Browse Items" page, you can use the batch edit option to add multiple items to a collection, again using a dropdown menu to select the existing collection.

Dropdown menu in the batch item edit page is emphasized with a teal arrow

The thumbnail image for a collection is automatically derived from the primary file of the most recently created item in the collection, or, if you have an item checked as "featured," the most recently-created featured item in the collection. Collection thumbnails cannot be edited manually.

Edit a Collection

To edit a collection, click the Edit link underneath the title from the Browse Collections page, at /admin/collection. Edit in any fields you wish, and click the "Save Changes" button to the right of the screen.

Browsing Collections

By clicking the Collections tab, you may browse through the collections in your archive. They are listed with very basic metadata: Title, Contributors, Date Added, and Total Number of Items. You may sort collections by clicking Title or Date Added.