A Thanksgiving Message from the Director:
Dear Omeka Community:
Heading into Thanksgiving week here in the US, I’d like to do a bit of review and to take the opportunity to say how grateful I am to you for your use and support of the Omeka platforms. 2018 has been a year of milestones and changes for the Omeka Team. A brief review of the calendar and commits turns up a significant list of accomplishments:
In February, we celebrated Omeka Classic’s 10th birthday. Ten years is quite an achievement for an open source project! Like our compatriots at Zotero and Tropy, we are dedicted to providing continued development and support for our users because we are committed to the mission of creating and sustaining cost-effective tools for digital scholarship and interoperable open access work.
In April, we released Omeka Everywhere with our collaborators at Ideum and University of Connecticut’s Digital Media and Design Department. The suite of tools extends Omeka Classic’s web interface to provide a touchtable collections viewer and a mobile application, making a single Omeka site a launch pad to bring digital collections into a gallery space and into a visitor’s pocket.
In June, we officially launched Omeka Services. As a contracting unit, Omeka Services makes it possible for users to work with the Omeka Team for consulting, custom design and development, hosting, and support.
While not a landmark anniversary, the end of October marked Omeka.net’s eighth year in the software-as-a-service landscape. Omeka.net makes it possible for users without the means or time to run their own Omeka Classic installations to use the software for their personal, instructional, and institutional digital collection building and publishing needs. Currently, the Omeka.net system hosts over 36,000 sites from more than 58,000 users.
And, last week we celebrated the first anniversary of Omeka S’s move out of beta. During the past year, users have embraced Omeka S’s linked data infrastructure and built some outstanding sites and collections. We are eager to help scholars, libraries, museums, and archives manage many sites from one installation, while also easing them into publishing linked open data.
That’s a pretty good track record of progress for a single year! And, we’re not stopping there. As a Thanksgiving bonus, next week we will offer two new releases for you to play with after the break:
the Omeka S 1.3 release brings a number of updates and improvements;
and, the much-anticipated Numeric Date Module for Omeka S provides users with the ability to specific a numeric or date datatype for resource properties. This data type makes it possible to sort by and to search between ranges of integers and dates.
These developments would not be possible with out the hard work and dedication of the Omeka team, which I like to think of as the hardest working group in the open source digital humanities software landscape. The team has seen its own share of changes this year. First, I’ve moved on to my new institutional home at Michigan State University, but I am pleased to be able to continue in my role as director Omeka. Much more important than my relocation, though, is the fact that two key people in the Omeka team moved on to new opportunities this year:
Sheila Brennan, who had been an integral part of Omeka from its inception (as “sitebuilder”), began her new role as a Senior Program Officer in the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sheila’s work and vision helped shape the functionality and user experience of much of what users have come to know and love in the Omekas, through her roles as Director of End User Outreach, Testing Coordinator, and project Director in 2017-2018.
Patrick Murray-John moved on to great new position as Associate Director for System in the Digital Scholarship Group at Northeastern University. In his role as the Director of Developer Outreach, Patrick shepherded countless projects through rough spots and encouraged and supported so much of the community developed plugins that demonstrate the ways that you all have made Omeka a core element of your digital cultural hertitage and digital scholarship work.
Sheila and Patrick’s new roles put them in the position to continue to share their intelligence and experience with the larger world of open, collaborative, digital work, which is a great benefit to the whole field. Nonetheless, we miss having them take part in our daily work, development, and hijinks, and we thank them for their years of dedication to Omeka and its users.
Finally, I want to thank you, our community of users and developers, for your loyalty and support over the past ten years. We appreciate the trust you place in our work, and your willingness to make Omeka a core piece of your scholarship, your teaching, and your cultural heritage work. Your use-cases, feature requests, comments, questions, issues, and pull requests help us make the Omeka platforms better, and we always take them into consideration as we plan our future development. Furthermore, we are eager to share your work. Let us know about your new sites, so we can show them off. Submit your plugins, modules, and themes to our add-on registration system so we can share with our community of users.
You have my very best wishes for a peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving. Enjoy your friends and family, and some good food.
Sharon M. Leon