Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Omeka Workshop: Glossary

Here are some definitions of terms you may come across. When a term is styled with italics, it appears as an entry elsewhere in this glossary.

Glossary A-G

  • Class: Somewhat analagous to Item Type in Omeka Classic, Items in Omeka are categorized into Classes. See Vocabulary.
  • CPanel: If you set up a website with a discount hosting provider, this is the back-end interface you would use to administer your website. This is where you would find the tools to install and uninstall software platforms such as Omeka, back up your website, access the server's file system, limit access to your website to your school, and other features.
  • Dublin Core: Developed in Dublin, Ohio in 1994, this standard prescribes 15 core metadata fields for use in cataloging objects. Dublin Core has been widely adopted across the internet. You can find it in everything from library and museum catalogs to the header information which appears in the source code of every website. In Omeka, Dublin Core provides the primary metadata for each Item and File.
  • Exhibit Builder: A plugin for Omeka used to select sets of Items, and organize them into exhibits. Texts, maps, and other interactive features can also be included. Exhibit Builder is included on all plans.
  • File: In Omeka, a this a media file which represents an Item. It can be a jpeg, mp3, or any other file type. In the same way that an item can have its own Dublin Core metadata (e.g., Creator, Format, Date), Files can optionally also have their own Dublin Core Metadata, which refers to just that file, rather than the item as a whole.
  • Geolocation: This plugin adds some mapping functionality to Omeka. You can pinpoint a work's location on a map, browse a map of items, or even search for works based on distance from a specified location.

Glossary H-O

  • Item: An object such as a painting, a book, a newspaper article or anything else which serve as the core building block of an Omeka collection.
  • Item Set: In Omeka, an Item Set is one or Items which you have determined have something in common. Item Sets can be based on anything, for example a work type (e.g., paintings, sculpture, houseplants) or even as a way to group items by a corresponding week of the school year, for lecture/activity purposes.
  • Item Type Metadata: In Omeka, Items are grouped by Item Type (e.g., Films, Musical Recordings, Texts), each of which has their own set of metadata fields. For example, a film may have a film director, and a text may have an editor. You can create your own metadata type and fields for your project.
  • Module: Omeka is designed to be highly modular, with only a few basic features "out of the box." Modules (analogous to Plugins in Omeka Classic) can be downloaded from the web and then installed into Omeka to add additional features.
  • 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. Many themes and hundreds of plugins are available, or you can write your own. Unlike, 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. Like Classic, you also need to arrange for web hosting at your school or through a Discount Hosting Provider. This is the version taught in this this workshop.
  • One-Click Install: A user interface which makes it easy to install and set up platforms such as Omeka and WordPress, often by typing in a couple text fields (such as the desired name for your website, and your preferred username and password), and then clicking "Install." This makes it easy for people with limited or no technical skill to create websites from scratch. One click install is a very common feature among discount hosting providers, but may exist under a number of names, such as "Installatron" or "Fantastico."
  • Plugin: Plugins add additional functionality to Omeka, such as maps, timelines, exhibits and much more. Omeka's core feature set is extremely limited— it's likely that you will need to install plugins to provide the features you need.

Glossary P-Z

  • Resource Template: A list of properties from one or more Vocabularies gathered into a single page, meant to guide the process of creating and editing items in Omeka. Properties can be arranged into any order, and customized Property labels and instructions can be added.
  • Shared Hosting Provider: Often referred to as Discount Hosting Providers, these companies can be used to host websites based on Omeka. Costs will range from $8-$15 per month. The term shared refers to multiple subscribers sharing CPU, memory, and network bandwidth on the same server, which significantly reduces operating costs. In many cases the impact isn't noticeable by users. Some hosting provides such as Dreamhost ( provide free hosting for non-profit organizations, including K-12 and higher education. To receive free hosting, you would need to provide proof of tax-exempt status, such as a 501(c)(3) determination letter. The University of Rochester provides access to shared hosting through Digital Scholar.
  • Simple Pages: A plugin for Omeka used to create a static page to be included in your Omeka website. Common uses would be to create "About" or "Help" pages. Simple Pages is included in all plans.
  • Vocabulary: Metadata in Omeka is structured through RDF-compliant Vocabularies, which are made up of Classes, which categorize the item being described, and Properties, which are the individual metadata attributes (e.g., Title, Creator, Subject, etc.) being incorporated into that vocabulary. In Omeka, multiple vocabularies can be used to describe a single item: for example, given a digital collection of historic architecture photographs, Title, Creator, and Date could be drawn from the Dublin Core vocabulary, and Street Address and Neighborhood from a custom vocabulary specific to that collection.