Omeka: what it is and how to use it
Omeka (oh-MEH-kuh) is a free, open source web platform for sharing collections of information on the Internet. It’s aimed at universities, libraries, museums, archives, and other scholarly institutions.
Download the software and set up your own server, or use the hosted option, Omeka.Net. After setting up shop you can add content yourself or allow visitors to tag items and contribute themselves. Omeka provides a way for institutions and individuals to create attractive, websites based on standards like Dublin Core. While it was designed to meet the needs of institutions with small staffs and smaller budgets, the feature list is pretty impressive. The project is based at George Mason University’s Rosenzweig Center, which has brought us other great tools like Zotero and Scripto.
Six ways you might use Omeka
You should browse through the exemplary Omeka sites listed on the showcase page, but here are the main ways in which the developers see people using this tool:
- Build an online exhibit of objects you can’t display in a museum
- Share a collection of primary sources
- Collaborate in creating digital scholarship
- Complement an online library catalog with a digital exhibit
- Create an archive of user-generated content, such as oral histories
- Develop inquiry-based learning tasks with accompanying primary sources