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Getting Started With Omeka (DHSI 2015 Unconference)


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Slides from 2015 DHSI "unconference" session titled "Getting Started with Omeka." Slides are slightly tweaked / condensed from HASTAC Webinar slides used in early 2015 by Jim (see my SlideShare page for those slides).

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Getting Started With Omeka (DHSI 2015 Unconference)

  1. 1. Getting Started with Omeka Jim McGrath June 11th, 2015 DHSI Unconference Lunch Session
  2. 2. Introductions • Hi! • Doctoral candidate in English at Northeastern • Digital Scholarship Group Coordinator at NU • Project Director of Our Marathon (created with Omeka) • Twitter: @JimMc_Grath 1. Slides are here: 2. My Omeka Sandbox is here: 3. Official Omeka Sandbox:
  3. 3. Check out Omeka! • My personal sandbox with sample files can be found here: To log in: Username: HASTACScholar PW: HASTACtest • This is a basic Omeka install via Reclaim Hosting • Neatline is not installed / other plugins not • More a chance to see back-end of a basic instance • Check out the Omeka sandbox as well
  4. 4. Discussion Points • Background on Omeka • Why do you want to use Omeka? • Omeka and Digital Projects • Omeka in the Classroom • Extended Discussion
  5. 5. Omeka
  6. 6. Dan Cohen on Omeka Omeka introduced in February 2008 by the Center for History and New Media (GMU) “Projects such as the September 11 Digital Archive and associated work with institutions such as the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress made us realize how much work – and how much money – it takes for institutions (and individuals) to mount high-quality and flexible exhibits online, and to manage the underlying collections.” “Omeka aims to simplify this entire process, save valuable resources, and create a free and open platform that the museum and library community, and anyone else, can enrich by developing themes and plugins.”
  7. 7. What is Omeka? • “WordPress for museums” • web publishing platform for items, exhibits and collections • designed with scholars, librarians, educators and archivists in mind • aims to be easy to use & implement • emphasizes curation and metadata’s role in archiving and curation • ability to contextualize items & bring them in conversation with one another
  8. 8. • LAMP server required, FTP required, Hosted by you or institution • Customize themes and plugins by editing server files • Unlimited number of plugins and themes (download to server)
  9. 9. • No server or FTP required (hosted by Omeka) • Basic (free) plan includes 500MB of storage, 1 site, 5 themes, and 13 plugins—including Exhibit Builder, CSV import, and Simple Pages
  10. 10. Why do people like Omeka? • Classroom Instruction: collaborative or individual exhibit building work; intro to metadata / archive • Public humanities work: make content accessible • Collaborations between GLAM (Galleries Libraries Archivists and Museum) communities • Can be used for short-term; ideal for longer projects • Can host content on your own server space • Can use versions (Omeka-hosted)
  11. 11. Advantages of Omeka • Easy to create and update metadata using Dublin Core standards • Long-term aspirations: digital projects can have afterlives • Exhibit templates are useful in classrooms • Easy to geotag / use geotagging (creation of maps) • Flexible (can create new pages / code via “Simple Pages”) • Open Source • Lots of documentation of work (Omeka Forums) • Cheap (or free!)
  12. 12. Omeka Interface Stuff
  13. 13. Our Marathon
  14. 14. Omeka and Metadata (Dublin Core) • set of metadata standards • rejects “siloed cultural memory” • enables “radically open cultural heritage data” • interdisciplinary work • collaborative in nature and scope
  15. 15. Talking about Metadata with Students • Important component of Omeka and its mission! • Metadata as adding to historical record • Metadata’s uses in surveillance / war • Metadata’s role in students’ daily lives • Metadata’s relationship to your particular class • Stylistic conventions: decision or discussion • Metadata can be more than just “data entry”
  16. 16. Omeka is NOT just for Exhibit-building • Simple Dublin Core fields are a key part of Omeka’s value • idea of creating “a love letter to the future” via metadata • Learn more about Dublin Core / metadata standards! • Essential that students have a sense of metadata’s value • Stylistic conventions also important • Documentation is online • Collaborate with local / institutional metadata specialists!
  17. 17. Exhibits are Cool, Though • Exhibit Plugin: design templates for students -students / teachers don’t have to be web design gurus • Neatline Plugin: Geospatial / temporal maps -more of a learning curve, but worth it! • Simple Pages: HTML and PHP, embedded content -create your own pages / layouts / content
  18. 18. Neatline
  19. 19. Advantages of Neatline • Narratives that attend to space and temporality • Demonstrate value of geotagged metadata • Dynamic and interactive • Map templates built in to plugin • Ability to georectify maps (historical projects) • Ability to “map” images • Learning curve, but documentation online
  20. 20. Why did Our Marathon use Omeka? • Our Marathon is a crowdsourced digital archive of content related to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings • We wanted robust metadata records for content • We wanted content to be accessible / live ASAP • We wanted a space for exhibits • We wanted to encourage educational uses of materials • We didn’t have lots of $$ for web design • We wanted the archive to go live shortly after the events
  21. 21. How did we use Omeka? • As a platform for crowdsourcing (“Share Your Story”) • As a space to feature special collections of material (Boston City Archives, WBUR Oral History Project) • As a space for student collaborations • As a space for exhibits (created with Neatline)
  22. 22. Modifications to Omeka • Modified the Contribution Plugin -a need to make the contribution space engaging -a need to contextualize metadata requests • Cleaned up web design -improved layout of site sections -need to appease media / institutional partners
  23. 23. “Share Your Story” contribution plugin
  24. 24. Sample Classroom Exhibit
  25. 25. “One Boston” Neatline Exhibit (created by Haverford College undergrad Nate Rehm-Daly) Neatline Exhibit
  26. 26. Omeka at Your Institution • Anyone already working with Omeka at your school? • Library / EdTech Resources? • Metadata specialists? • Do you need server access? How will you get it? • Do you want this hosted by your institution? • Questions related to intellectual property • Long-term preservation options (if relevant)
  27. 27. Omeka in the Classroom • What are students getting out of this work? • What are you getting out of this work? • What are your collaborators getting out of this work? • What happens to this work after the course? • What is the scope of the project / assignment? • Is Omeka the digital tool you need for this course?
  28. 28. Lesson Plans with Omeka • How much of a role will Omeka play in a particular class? • How does the use of Omeka help you achieve your course learning goals? • How might assignments that are not tech-heavy / explicitly using Omeka benefit later work withOmeka? • Is this an “Omeka” unit, or a unit about a particular topic? • How much time will you spend introducing Omeka? • How are you grading work done in Omeka? • How might an assignment using Omeka lead to a larger research project / future collaborations?
  29. 29. Lessons from Classroom Collaboration • Value of occasions for student work that circulates beyond the classroom • Exhibits as way of documenting what was learned about technology AND content of course • Challenges of collaborative writing and design • “Failure” should be discussed / accepted • Setting clear goals for semester AND goals tied to momentum of larger project important • Discuss how you’re using tools and WHY you’re using Omeka with your students
  30. 30. Discussion • Have you used Omeka? • How does Omeka compare to other tools? • Can Omeka do [X}? • Classroom Assignments • Labor and Costs tied to Omeka • Questions of scale: semester projects, project prototypes, next steps, etc.
  31. 31. Other Examples of Omeka
  32. 32. Uses of Omeka Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project (AAS)
  33. 33. Uses of Omeka Digital Dos Passos (Amanda Visconti)
  34. 34. Uses of Omeka Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives
  35. 35. Uses of Neatline Jeddah: Gateway to the Hajj (University of Virginia)
  36. 36. Uses of Neatline Black Liberation 1969 Archive (Swarthmore)