Understanding relationships between parts

I am just starting to work with Omeka, and using content from an oral history project as my "test run." I'm a little fuzzy on how my content should map into the different "parts" of Omeka -- site, exhibit, section, collection, files, items. This is my content outline:

Homesteading in Northern Colorado

A. What is oral history?
B. Westward expansion & the Homestead Act
C. Biographies of homesteading families
1. The Bear family
i. oral history interview transcripts (Word docs)
ii. audio clips from interviews
iii. video clips from interviews
iv. scanned historical documents
v. photos
2. The Romano family (same sub-topics as above)
D. Explore
1. Relationship of people and the land
2. Roles of women
3. Social aspects, schools, entertainment
E. Add your own stories

Okay ... so are my main topics (A, B, C, etc.) exhibits? And sub-topics (1, 2) sections within an exhibit? I assume that my individual bits of data (Word files, photos, etc.) are "items." Where do "Collections" come into the picture, and how do they relate to Exhibits?

Thanks for your help.


I think that you can decide how you want to handle this. One suggestion is for A, B, C, D, and E to be sections in your main exhibit. Each section comprises pages that deal with a different topic or family. Then each page comprises interpretative text (that does not come from item descriptions) and source thumbnails that link directly to the items (documents, audio, and video clips) in the archive.

Collections offer a way to organize items, but do not contain any interpretive text (other than a collection description) like an exhibit. One item may only belong to one collection at a time, whereas any item may appear in any number of exhibits. Collections can exist around whatever scheme you'd like. Another way to organize items in the archive is by tagging. Each installation offers a cloud allowing online visitors to browse by tag.

Exhibit: tells a story by bringing together different items regardless of collection.

Collection: organizes similar items (by subject, donor/owner, geo location, et al) without any offering any narrative story.

Hope this is helpful.

Thanks for your reply, Sheila. I think I was making it more complicated than it is!