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Introduction to Omeka

What Is Omeka?

What is Omeka?

Omeka is a web-based publishing tool for digital collections. It shines with images, sound, video, and rich metadata. Because it's not something you install on your computer but rather a web server, it provides a platform for groups of people to work together on the same resources at the same time, requiring only a web browser. Omeka is a great tool for group instruction activities in the classroom.

How do I get Omeka?

Omeka comes in three "flavors":

  • Omeka.net: The organization who developed Omeka hosts a copy of Omeka Classic for you. Prices range from free to $1200 per year. The free option can be a great choice if you would like students to individually create projects with basic searchable collections. The free version comes with only a few plugins and themes. The paid versions include a dozen theme choices and dozens of plugins.
  • Omeka Classic: this software is free, but you would need to provide the web hosting either at your school or through a discount hosting provider (see Glossary tab). Many themes and hundreds of plugins are available, or you can write your own. Unlike Omeka.net, you can access the source code powering your website to change Omeka Classic is the best known flavor; and when people refer to Omeka they are most often referring to Omeka Classic.
  • Omeka S: This is the next generation version of Omeka, with some new features, and fixes a number of known pain points in Omeka Classic. However, it hasn't yet seen widespread adoption due in part to limited availability of key plugins, such as Neatline (see Glossary).

Omeka Sites Around The Web

Add the phrase "Proudly Powered by Omeka" surrounded by quotes to your search query to find Omeka-powered sites which touch on your search topic.

Websites such as The Days of Walter Harding and Open Valley show how omeka can be integrated into a classroom learning project. ReEnvisioning Japan is a large digital archive of thousands of postcards, books, sheet music, film, and ephemera relating to Japan in the first half of the 20th Century. It shows how Omeka can be customized to show films, sheet music with play-along recordings, and other features. The Sibley Watson Digital Archive integrates images of letters alongside interactive transcripts. Searching for Ward's includes three-dimensional models of scientific specimens produced by Ward Scientific at the turn of the 20th century. The Dene Speech Atlas shows how Omeka can be used to create a book-like interface with a searchable index. For the Dene Speech Atlas, the items being cataloged are sound recordings collected by a researcher out in the field.

Digital Arts 1 student portfolios