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Nice Outfit recently designed an online collecting site, Catawba River Docs, for the Light Factory and Cultural Heritage & Museums using Omeka.

The web site complements a physical show, River Docs, that showcases work by contemporary artists who were asked to document their personal interactions with Catawba River over the course of one year through their art. Nice Outfit designed an online exhibit using Omeka and the contribution plugin to collect and display stories and images submitted by the general public representing their relationship with the river and region.

Recently, an unknown contributor uploaded a photograph of workers building the Catawba Dam around 1900. This person found the image in a family photo album, scanned it, and uploaded it to the archive. How many others have photographs like this saved in an album that will never be shared with a large audience? This example demonstrates how Omeka can help cultural institutions engage communities and help them save and construct their own histories.

CHNM is dedicated to democratizing history. Catawba River Docs is an exciting example of how others can do the same using Omeka.

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