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Introduction to Omeka


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Introduction to Omeka workshop taught at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, Cape May, April 12 2012.

Published in: Technology

Introduction to Omeka

  1. 1. Here are some things you can do while you wait1. Open your site in your browser (e.g. Open a new tab and open your admin view in your browser (e.g. Find and open your workshop folder on your laptop
  2. 2. Omeka!
  3. 3. Quick introductionsFlickr Commons:
  4. 4. What is Omeka?• a “a free, flexible, and open source web- publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions” –Omeka team’s definition• a “system for storing digital objects (photos, PDFs, video, etc.) and their metadata, and creating digital collection and exhibitions around those objects” –my definition
  5. 5. What isn’t Omeka?• If you need a quick-and-dirty way to put content online…use Wordpress or other blogging software• If you need a quick-and-dirty way to put images online…use Flickr• If you need a digital asset management system…use ContentDM, or an open source DAMS like ResourceSpace
  6. 6. How does Omeka work?• Administrative and public interface: no coding or HTML required• Customize your site with themes and plugins• Two options: free/paid hosting (account at or self-hosting (download software from and install it on a server)
  7. 7. Self-hosted Omeka Omeka.netLAMP server required No server requiredFTP client required No FTP client requiredCustomize themes and plugins by Customize themes and pluginsediting server files (PHP and CSS) through the admin interface only Mostly copiedStorage space determined by your Storage space according to the plan fromserver and/or server administrator you choose http://info. number of plugins and Plugins and themes determined by aboutthemes the plan you choseFile size limitations determined by File size limitations: 64mbyour server administrator Multiple sites, depending on yourOne site per installation plan, per user account Free basic plan, other options costFree $
  8. 8. Let’s look at the public interface Watch my screen!
  9. 9. Basic content types• Items• Collections• Exhibits• Simple Pages
  10. 10. Items!• Item = files(s) + metadata• Files can be images, PDFs, audio, video…
  11. 11. Collections!• A grouping of items• Displays with a description of the collection (if you provide one) followed by a list of thumbnails and links to all items in the collection• Omeka doesn’t care how you create collections. You could do it by archival collection, by creator, thematic, etc.• Omeka 1.5 (the latest version) allows you to create sub-collections• Collections don’t allow HTML input or text formatting
  12. 12. Exhibits!• A grouping of items with the option to add narrative text and captions• Organized into sections with pages• You can choose different page layouts and add captions• Each exhibit can have its own theme, which can be different from the overall site theme• Exhibits allow HTML input and text formatting
  13. 13. Collections vs. Exhibits• Collections provide space to describe a set of items (or subsets, in Omeka 1.5)• Collections are easier and faster to create• Exhibits provide space to describe sets, subsets, and individual items, and control over text formatting and page layouts• You can add items to a collection, but not to an exhibit—you have to add them to a page within an exhibit• Collections are for organizing items, and exhibits are for displaying items
  14. 14. If it doesn’t work as a collection or exhibit…make a simple pageAbout pageSite creditsNews• Simple pages can link to items, collections, exhibits, or any other content on your site. You can add HTML or PHP content, so these pages can be simple or pretty complex.
  15. 15. Let’s look at theadministrative interface Watch my screen!
  16. 16. Let’s set up our siteGo to your browser!
  17. 17. Let’s add some content1. Create items using the CSV Import plugin2. Create an item through the Items tab3. Create a collection through the Collections tab4. Batch edit some items5. Create an exhibit, and add items to it6. Create a simple page
  18. 18. Questions?Flickr Commons:
  19. 19. Play on your own• Add another item• Batch edit your items• Add a new collection• Update your site information• Add more Simple Pages, and create a hierarchy• Explore item types• Activate and play with other plugins
  20. 20. Self-hosted Omeka admin interfaceWith self-hosted Omeka, you can• Change the default sizes for full-size images and thumbnails• Change which file types are allowed• Upload new themes and plugins via FTP
  21. 21. Let’s download a new theme and a new plugin1. Go to Click on ALL THEMES3. Under Berlin (the first theme), click the Download Latest button, and save the file to your workshop folder4. Go back to and click on ALL PLUGINS5. Scroll down to Simple Contact Form, click the Download Latest button, and save the file to your workshop folder
  22. 22. Let’s open Filezilla• Let’s configure Filezilla to work with jEdit
  23. 23. Filezilla connection informationHost: sftp://marac.dreamhosters.comUsername: [REDACTED]Password: [REDACTED]Host: [leave blank]WAIT to click the Quickconnect button untilRebecca says so!In the Remote Site box, click, then capemay, thenyour Omeka site
  24. 24. What does an FTP client do?• Transfers files from your computer (local site) to a website (remote site)• You can transfer one file at a time, multiple files, or entire directories (folders)• Your account to log into a website and your FTP account are separate
  25. 25. Upload a theme
  26. 26. Upload a plugin• Same as for themes, but upload it to the plugins folder instead
  27. 27. Let’s activate our SimpleContactForm plugin and choose our Berlin theme• Log in to your site (in your browser, not FTP)• Plugin: click Settings  Plugins. Click the Install button next to Simple Contact Form. This will automatically take you to the Configuration page. You can configure it or just click Save Changes at the bottom.• Theme: click Settings  Themes. Under Change Theme, select Berlin.
  28. 28. HTML and CSS in 60 seconds• (You should) use HTML to control content, and CSS to control appearance• HTML and CSS documents are connected through links on HTML pages• Linking multiple HTML pages link to the same CSS document is a way to keep your site’s appearance consistent across different pages• The C in CSS is for Cascading, and different CSS rules have different priorities
  29. 29. Let’s edit the Berlin theme
  30. 30. Let’s upload our edited theme
  31. 31. Don’t edit themes the way we just did!• To edit an existing theme: – Make a copy of the theme, and give the top-level folder (e.g. Berlin) a new name (e.g. Berlin-edited) – Open the theme.ini file, and update the author, title, and description fields
  32. 32. Free self-hosting for Omeka• Dreamhost offers FREE website hosting to non-profits, and they have a one-click Omeka install option• profit_Discount
  33. 33. Questions?Flickr Commons:
  34. 34. Extra activities• Watch me install an Omeka site on Dreamhost• Download and install additional plugins