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This guide walks users through the basics of using Omeka for digital collections and exhibits.

omeka dashboard with items menu item circled

Adding items to your Omeka site

You can add any type of digital object to your Omeka site (images, videos, audio, pdfs, etc). These can be born-digital objects or digital surrogates for physical objects (e.g. a photo of a sculpture).

add an item button in omeka

  1. Click on "Add an Item" - this will bring up the form for you to enter metadata about the item.
  2. Fill in as many of the metadata fields as you can for your item - these metadata fields are what make your items findable!
  3. Omeka uses a metadata standard called "Dublin Core." The fields are vague and flexible by design. 
    1. Use the Omeka Guide to Dublin Core or the Dublin Core User Guide to learn more about how to best use these terms.
  4. You can set more specific information about your item type in the next tab, "Item Type Metadata."
  5. Upload your file(s) in the next tab - you can upload multiple files if they are all part of the same "object" (e.g., if you have multiple images showing a physical object from various angles).
  6. Finally, add some tags under the last tab to help users find your item.

When you click the button to add your item, make sure you check the "Public" checkbox - otherwise, visitors to your site won't be able to see your item!

omeka dashboard with the collections menu item circled

Organizing items into collections

Once you have a number of items uploaded to your site, you can begin to organize these items into collections. Adding a collection is much like adding a new item - you'll use the same Dublin Core metadata fields for each collection. Once you have collections, you can go back to your items screen and add each item to the appropriate collection.

Just like with individual items, make sure you have marked your collection(s) as "Public," or users won't be able to find them! You can also designate collections as "Featured," which will make the collection display on your site's home page. If you have more than one featured collection, you'll get a random one each time the home page is loaded.