‣ A brief introduction to Metadata, it’s value and how it can
be leveraged in Omeka as a digital narrative tool;
‣ To evaluate what digital narrative tools - such as Omeka or
others - may be of use in sharing your research – and
telling your story.
‣ Why à How
"If a resource does not have any associated metadata
information, then it is essentially lost."
"If a resource has erroneous, inconsistent, or not enough
metadata information, then it is essentially non-existent."
Why and How? - Basic Metadata
‣ What is this resource?
‣ Who created the resource?
‣ When was this resource created or published?
‣ Why was this resource created?
‣ Who owns or how do you purchase the resource?
‣ Can you re-use and/or share this resource? (Licensing)
Types of Metadata
‣ Descriptive metadata —> Identification;
‣ Structural metadata —> Referential;
‣ Administrative metadata —> Manage;
‣ Technical metadata —> Production Process;
‣ Preservation metadata —> Preservation Processes;
‣ Rights metadata —> Access and Use.
‣ Some or all
A Universe of Standards
A Few Common Standards
‣ Dublin Core (ISO15836)
‣ Resource discovery across domains
‣ General and Abstracted
‣ GIS Metadata (ISO19115) —> OGC GML
‣ VRA Core -Visual Materials
‣ MODS (METS) —> MARC
‣ MPEG21 - Multimedia Resources
1. Facilitate Discovery of Content;
2. Help Organise Content;
3. Facilitate Harvesting of Content;
4. Support Archiving and Preservation.
A Rather Quick Introduction
to Dublin Core
Just Enough to be Dangerous
‣ What the formal name of this resource - how would a user
‣ Examples: title of a painting, photo, document; the name of a
person when using the "person" item type; the name of a
‣ <dc:title>Arab Gentleman</dc:title>
‣ What is the domain area/topic (non-spatial or temporal) that
the object is part of?
‣ Controlled vocabularies such as the Getty can help here.
‣ Typically keywords, key phrases, or classification codes.
‣ Examples: Library of Congress subject headings; subject-
‣ <dc:subject>Bell, Gertrude Lowthian 1868-1926 — Journeys —
‣ What sort of short narrative will help a user to know whether this
resource is relevant to their needs?
‣ This is often an abstract, a table of contents or even a graphical
representation of the object
‣ Examples: a photo caption; descriptive information of an artifact/
museum object; summary of a lesson plan; abstract or summary of
a long document.
‣ <dc:description>[Arab gentleman - possibly Am’a Abdullah
‣ Who is responsible for making this digital resource - digtiser,
‣ The original author or the digitising institution?
‣ Examples: Author/authors; artists; photographers; institutional
authors or producers, such as university or federal agency.
‣ <dc:creator>Gertrude Bell</dc:creator>
‣ From what resource did the derived digital resource come from?
‣ This can be a type, a descriptor but best practice recommends a
string conforming to a formal identifier system
‣ Examples: Accession number; Collection of objects; Division of
an archive or library.
‣ <dc:source>Gertrude Bell Papers, Special Collections,
‣ Who (what institution is making this resource available?
‣ If there is a license or copyright involved helps to determine
‣ Examples: actual publisher, if there is one; entity or consortium
publishing digital materials.
‣ <dc:publisher>University Library, Newcastle University</
‣ A point or period in the lifecycle of the digital object
‣ When was this scanned?When was it published?
‣ Consistency - decided by project management - documented
‣ Consider in relation to the coverage of the object
‣ Date is one of the trickiest fields to fill.You will want to decide how best to
use it for your project for consistency. There is an open text field for date so
that you can reflect the type of date information you have whether it is a very
specific date MM/DD/YYYY or if it is "circa 1940".
‣ Who (individual, institution, organisation - entity) is making
this object available/responsible for its digitisation?
‣ Examples: person who contributed a story or file for an Omeka
collecting project; owner or donor of collected objects.
‣ <dc:contributor>Special Collections, Newcastle University</
‣ What restrictions are held in and over this resource?
‣ This is typically a statement relation to the intellectual and usage
rights relating to this digital object
‣ Examples: spell out conditions of use for specific items here;
Creative Commons type; Public Domain.
‣ <dc:rights>Reproduction of these materials in any format for any purpose other
than personal research and study may constitute a violation of CDPA 1988 and
infringement of rights associated with the materials. Please contact us for
permissions information at firstname.lastname@example.org</dc:rights>
‣ What resources are related to this digitised object?
‣ Best practice is to refer to a <dc:identifier>
‣ Examples: a still image of a person entered as a "person" type.
‣ <dc:relation>Gertrude Bell Collection</dc:relation>
‣ What is the file format of this digital resource?
‣ Examples include size and duration. Recommended best
practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the Internet
Media Types (MIME).
‣ What is the language(s) of the digital resource?
‣ Again best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as
‣ Examples: English; Russian; Spanish, et al.
‣ What defined type best represents the object you are referencing?
‣ Best practice to use the DCMI Type controlled vocabulary
‣ Examples: For consistency, use item type controlled vocabulary
provided by Omeka: Document, Moving Image, Oral History, Sound,
Still Image,Website, Event, Email, Lesson Plan, Hyperlink, Person, or
‣ dc:type>Still Image</dc:type>
‣ Where will a user find this resource via the web?
‣ A direct and unambiguous identification of the resource -
unique and persistent - handle?
‣ To what defining place or time is this item relevant (spatial or
‣ Typically relies on a controlled vocabulary relevant to the
domain, ie. The Getty Museum / Research Institute
‣ Where appropriate, named places or time periods can be used
in preference to numeric identifiers such as sets of coordinates
or date ranges.
‣ <dc:coverage>Damascus - Syria</dc:coverage>
An Arab Gentleman – and a Digital Object
‣ <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE rdf:RDF PUBLIC "-//DUBLIN CORE//DCMES DTD 2002/07/31//EN"
‣ <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"
‣ <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://nclomeka1.omeka.net/admin/items/show/18">
‣ <dc:title>Arab gentleman</dc:title>
‣ <dc:subject>Bell, Gertrude Lowthian 1868-1926 — Journeys — Pictorial works.</dc:subject>
‣ <dc:description>[Arab gentleman - possibly Am'a Abdullah Pasha]</dc:description>
‣ <dc:creator>Gertrude Bell</dc:creator>
‣ <dc:source>Gertrude Bell Papers, Special Collections, Newcastle University</dc:source>
‣ <dc:publisher>University Library, Newcastle University</dc:publisher>
‣ <dc:contributor>Special Collections, Newcastle University</dc:contributor>
‣ <dc:rights>Reproduction of these materials in any format for any purpose other than
personal research and study may constitute a violation of CDPA 1988 and infringement of
rights associated with the materials. Please contact us for permissions information at
‣ <dc:relation>Gertrude Bell Collection</dc:relation>
‣ <dc:type>Still Image</dc:type>
‣ <dc:coverage>Damascus - Syria</dc:coverage>
Keepinging the User in Mind
‣ How will people find what they are looking for?
‣ How will they differentiate from one 'thing' over another?
‣ How will your information architecture refer to the digital
‣ Useful for Straight Dublin Core: Dublin Core Generator
‣ The world is fluid and formats and standards change
‣ How can I choose the right one?
‣ Be consistent and you can transform and evolve -
‣ How can I make the right decisions?
‣ I am a big fan of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC)
‣ They have some very useful tools: http://dcc.ac.uk
Getting Intimate with Digital Objects
Seeing Metadata in Action
1. Browse to http://www.memoriecolectiva.org/
2. Explore the context of the image within the collection -
3. Copy the Dublin Core information – digitally preferred
Collecting and Managing Digital Objects
Who’s Behind Omeka?: CNMH
‣ Roy Rosenzweig Centre for New Media and History
‣ Founded 1994
‣ George Mason University inWashington
‣ Collaborative Space Supporting 50+ Scholars
‣ To preserve and present history online
‣ Transform scholarship across the humanities
‣ Supported by grants from AHA, NEH, NHC, Library of
Congress, Mellon, Sloan, Rockefeller and Kellog
Foundations amongst others
Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a
Firefox extension to
help you collect,
manage, and cite your
Designed for cultural
and educators, Omeka is a
platform for publishing
online collections and
Let Omeka.net host your
exhibits, and digital
Short for “The Humanities
and Technology Camp,"
THATCamp is a
Scripto is a free, open
source tool that enables
of document and
methods to capture
share it with digital
humanists across the
Manage your class,
publish research, or
collaborate on a
presentation with this
hub for scholarly &
Anthologize is a free, open-
source, plugin that
transforms WordPress into
a platform for publishing
Build online surveys that
applicable to oral
CHNM Labs: Easily create
and manage a timeline
of historical events for
your sources to digital
materials located in
libraries, museums, and
archives around the
Store all kinds of media
items — URLs,
images, text, and
movies — &
collaborate thru the
What is Omeka?
‣ Omeka was developed at Center for History and New
Media (CHNM) at George Mason University as a "next
generation web publishing platform for museums,
historical societies, scholars, enthusiasts, and educators."
The feature-rich offering provides for the presentation,
searching and browsing of digital collections along with
a robust metadata management facility.
OMEKA Core Features
‣ Based on Open Source
Apache, MySQL, PHP;
‣ Free to Use, Free to
‣ Easy to Use;
‣ Change Design using
‣ Add Functionality with
‣ Unqualified Dublin Core
‣ Strong Support
‣ Extensible, Scalable,
What is 'an Omeka'
‣ An Omeka 'instance' contains:
‣ Items (digital Objects of various
‣ Collections (of objects)
‣ Sites (set of collections)
‣ Exhibits (curated subsets of site
Adding Digital Objects to a Collection
1. Hopefully you have been able to register and have confirmed your
username and password
2. Please access your User Account on
‣ You are all SuperAdmins – really super!
‣ Our first objective is to Add an Item to the Collection
‣ Follow Along inYour Own Browser
Adding an Item and its MetaData
‣ Return to the Item List
‣ Choose Add Item
‣ Take your Metadata record and populate the item record
‣ Dublin Core more info: http://dublincore.org
‣ 15 Metadata Elements of a generic and wide-ranging number
of digital resources;
‣ Each Dublin Core element is optional and may be repeated
WhereWe are At : Item Added
‣ Enter data to the best of your ability for the Dublin Core
info - bearing in mind not all fields are mandatory;
‣ Title, Description and Subject important.
Spend time thinking about your
metadata in advance
‣ It’s really about best practice
which means although you
can touch and feel an object,
you must define it properly
The Steps in Adding an Item
1. Go to the DashBoard
2. View Existing Items
3. Choose Add Item
4. Take the MetadataYou Have along with the Image File
and create an Item and locate it geospatially.
5. Choose a Collection to which it belongs
6. Save and you are Done.
7. There is an alternative.
Building a Narrative Exhibit
Leveraging Exhibit to Tell A Good Story
Create an Exhibit
‣ What is an Exhibit?
A carefully composed and curated digital showcase that
organizes the images, texts, video, audio, and other
uploaded items on your Omeka site into a coherent
narrative for people to browse.
- Harriet Green, Librarian, University of Illinois Scholarly Commons
Create an Exhibit
‣ Exhibits consist of Sections and Pages and Groups of
Collections and Items
‣ The first step is to take the time to plan your exhibit to
consider basic user interaction.
Create an Exhibit
‣ Time spent at this stage is
essential - define the display
Planning an Omeka Site
1. What is the Primary Goal for the Site?
2. Who is the Primary Audience for the Site?
1. Who Else Might Use the site? - Secondary audiences?
3. What sections will this Site or Exhibit Include?
1. Items: (renamed however you would like Archive/Sources/Objects) links to a
browseable list of items, sortable by type of item and tags.
2. Collections (renamed however you would like): groups of items, public can dig
through collection to find items.
3. Exhibits: (renamed however you would like) Exhibits contain interpretative text and
rely on items/sources/objects as their building blocks.
4. About-- a simple page good for publishing project descriptions, credits, rights, et al
4. Keyword Search box – option to link to advanced search page
Thinking About Items inYour Site
1. The item is the building block of your site.
1. Add the objects and materials you want to display in your site.
2. Add descriptions using some or all of the standard Dublin Core fields.
3. Once you have items in the Omeka archive, then you can build an exhibit with them
or display categories of items organized by collections or tags.
2. Determine the types of items/sources/objects you plan to use in this site:
(ie, Document, Still Image, Moving Image, Audio, et al),
3. Do you want to modify any of the item type fields or types?
See Item_Types for additional types and explanations.
4. Do you need additional core fields? —> Install the Dublin Core Extended plugin.
5. It is wise to determine before you start building the item archive what type of
consistencies you desire in your metadata--this may be especially true for fields such
as date, publisher, creator, et al.
To Control Data Entry
‣ Establish your own
specific metadata fields?
‣ Make it easier for your
team to enter consistent
‣ Install SimpleVocab
Use Library of Congress Subjects
• Do you want to easily use
Library of Congress
• Do you want to make it
easier for entry and
• > Library of Congress
DoYouWant to EstablishYour Own
• Do you want to establish a controlled tagging schema?
• You may add tags to individual items and exhibits;
• Before building your archive you may want to devise this
schema to help control vocab and spelling;
• Tags can help you pull together different items for the
purpose of arranging them on a map or creating
navigational links to browse items with a specific tag;
• This is a standard feature for Omeka Items.
DoYou Have Objects in other Repositories?
• You may be able to batch add
them into your Omeka site.
Can items be exported in a
Is there an OAI-PMH
• Do you have hundreds of files,
or large media files?
• Are you using Fedora?
DoYour Objects Have Locations?
• Activate the Geolocation
• You must geolocate each item
• A Great way to browse a
DoYouWant to CrowdsourceYour Content?
• Collaborate with MyOmeka
• Create Custom Tags and
• Collect these to Author Posters
• Contribution Plugin
• a way to collect stories,
images, or other files from
the public and manage those
contributions in your Omeka
archive as items.
DoYouWant to MakeYour Site Social?
• Add social bookmarking
icons to the bottom of items;
• Allow users to share links to
that item w/their social
• Allow the public to ‘comment’
using the Omeka Comment
DoYouWant to Extend a Physical Exhibit?
• The Reports And Codes
Plugin exports a list of items
criteria and generates PDFs
of QR Codes.
• Use Mobile Devices to
Browse Omeka Collectionss
for more information
DoYouWant to Have Users Read Supporting
• Use the DocsViewer Plugin
• Embeds a Google document
viewer into item show pages.
PDF documents, PowerPoint
presentations, TIFF files, and
documents are supported.
DoYouWant to Transcribe Items?
• Crowdsource the
transcription of Omeka Items.
• Uses MediaWiki, and Scripto
allowing items with files to be
Transcriptions are then
captured into Omeka.
Extending Omeka Even Further
‣ Do you want to allow users to be notified of changes to your
items, collections, or exhibits?
‣ —> Atom Output (Atom Syndication Format)
‣ Do you want users to be able to harvest objects to their own
bibliographic managers (such as Zotero)?
‣ —> COinS metadata
‣ Do you want to track user demographics?
‣ —> Google Analytics
‣ Do you want to generate derivative images?
‣ —> Derivatives plug-in
Omeka in a Nutshell
‣ Embeddable in other
‣ Restrictions on Look and
‣ Extensive customisation
means getting into code
‣ A few lingering mobile
Comparing omeka.net and omeka.org
Features omeka.org omeka.net
Server LAMP server required no server required
FTP client Required for file uploads and modifying Omeka not required
Web-based administrative interface Yes Yes
Storage Space Determined by your server admin Determined by your plan: 500 mb; 1 gb; 5 gb; 10 gb; or 25gb
File size limitations
Determined by your server admin, with ability to use Dropbox
plugin for files that exceed that limit.
32 mb maximum
Sites per Installation One website for one Omeka installation
Depending on plan, multiple sites available managed by one
Custom Domain Redirects You may point any Omeka installation to any domain name.
No redirects available. All sites are subdomains of Omeka.net
Plugins and Themes
Any and all available in Add-ons directory (see more on other
Not all Omeka plugins are available for use on .Net. And
availability of those plugins depends on the plan chosen (see
more on other pages).
Free: all versions of Omeka, and all of its plugins and themes
are free and will be always.
Free basic plan will always be available, with other options
available for small fee: http://www.omeka.net/signup
Support User Forums: http://omeka.org/forums Help section with detailed instructions: http://info.omeka.net
Developers' Google Group: https://groups.google.com/group/
Troubleshooting help form: http://info.omeka.net/contact
Advanced development: GitHub: http://github.org/omeka