News Newsletter: April 2024

Message from the Director

Dear Members of the Omeka Community,

The Omeka Team is eagerly welcoming Spring – baseball, and sunshine, and supporting students and teachers as they finish up their end of the semester projects!

As always, we’ve been focused on enriching user experience, expanding our capabilities, and forging new partnerships. One outcome of those efforts was the momentous Omeka S 4.1 release. If you’ve not yet checked out the new version, it’s well worth your time especially if you’re looking to build out more complex page layouts. Also, the Freedom theme has come to both Omeka Classic and, and we’re approaching the release of yet another new theme in the next couple of months.

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm which inspire us daily. We look forward to a productive summer working with you to support your efforts to engage with your communities and to share your digital scholarly work. And, of course, there are many good things in store from us, especially for archivists and oral historians, in the upcoming months.

Best wishes,

Sharon M. Leon

New Developments

The arrival of spring yields new growth in so many arenas. In Omeka-land, spring yields the release of Omeka S 4.1, a landmark new version of the software that offers site builders and theme writers many, many new tools to make beautiful page layouts and designs.

Screenshot of an Omeka S site page featureing a lead image in one column with the rest of the width filled by a highlighted text box; text column that takes up half the screen beside a gallery of item thumnbails that takes up the other half of the width.

This release is the follow up to a release candidate that the Omeka Team offered in December 2023. Based on feedback on that candidate, the team worked through the first quarter of the year to further improve the new site page authoring features. Now, users have the power to not only use a grid layout system with page blocks, but also to group those blocks for design and configuration purposes. Each page block now offers a standard set of configuration options, among which are the ability to set alignments, to assign a class, and to choose an asset to use as a background image. Furthermore, page authors can now select a template for an individual block or a whole page if the theme in use provides those templates. Together these new features dramatically increase the amount of control an author can have over the appearance of their site pages. (The changes are fully documented for users in the revised “Site Pages” section of the Omeka S User Manual.)

In addition to the page authoring improvements, the release includes a number of additional improvements, all of which are detailed in the release notes.

Spotlight: Archives of Appalachia

Screenshot of Archives of Appalachia homepage with a header, introductory text, a featurd item, and recently added items

This quarter’s Omeka newsletter Spotlight is the Archives of Appalachia, a repository that documents life in Southern Appalachia. This site makes use of the Berlin theme and showcases more than 17,000 items, 189 collections, and 20 exhibits comprising documents, images, and recordings that capture memories of Appalachia. This extensive digital collection includes everything from soldiers’ letters to recordings of bluegrass performances to photographs of railroad depots. The Archives of Appalachia is a unit of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University. Explore the collections and learn more about the project today.

Explore the Site

Share your work with us for inclusion in our directories, and for a possible future Spotlight!

Omeka in the World

Members of the Omeka Team Sharon Leon, Ken Albers, and Jim Safley attended the annual meeting of the National Council on Public History from April 10-13, 2024. At the Omeka booth, they were excited to share information related to our new training courses, the release of Omeka S 4.1, and new stickers!

Omeka swag and name badges from the Team's visit to NCPH 2024 in Salt Lake City.
Omeka swag and name badges from the Team's visit to NCPH 2024 in Salt Lake City.

Sharon, Ken, and Jim had the opportunity to engage with many of you, our users! They enjoyed hearing from the many teachers who incorporate Omeka into their classrooms, and from graduate students who use Omeka for their own research projects. They were also able to connect with a number of institutions that use Omeka to publish their digital collections.

The Omeka Team sends their thanks to the many attendees for their enthusiastic support, especially the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, who was an early adopter of Omeka S for their digital exhibits. The NCPH community as a whole has always been friendly and welcoming, and we are thankful for the opportunity to engage with people who have compelling ideas and an impressive ability to put them into practice. We are always grateful to receive input from our users, and we are working to improve Omeka using their suggestions!

Upcoming Events

We will be launching the Summer Session of our Omeka Classic and Omeka S Intensive courses at the beginning of June. This set of sessions is timed to be convenient for our European users, as well as our North American audience.

Each student will gain an understanding of the core capacities of the platform under study, and the best ways to leverage add-ons to extend the software’s functionality and to achieve key project goals. Sessions will address important issues such as designing for community engagement, building sophisticated interpretation that makes the most of digital collections.

Perfect for digital scholarship librarians, project managers, and instructors, each eight-week, online course is designed to provide participants with a deep understanding of the Omeka platform infrastructure, of key approaches to planning sophisticated projects, of the techniques for building accessible, well-structured sites that take advantage of Omeka’s many functional add-ons. After completing a full course curriculum, each participant will receive a certification of their achievement.

You can enroll in the Omeka Classic or the Omeka S training at

Courses are limited to 20 participants to assure adequate instructor support, so sign up today!

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