A Review of the Digital Exhibit Tool Omeka

Omeka is a self-described “web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits.” When considering this mission, Omeka’s developers make it clear that Omeka is a platform intended for academics and professionals, and not for casual use. Omeka’s statement of purpose also suggests the amount of detail that is customary of most of its exhibits. When creating an online collection, a great deal of time is necessary to gather valuable metadata on exhibit items. This again nods to the point that Omeka is intended for the detail oriented academic or professional.

The website is fully functional and everything works as intended. Visitors have the option to download the Omeka application for further ease of use and for some features that are not included on the browser platform, such as tool integration with academic software like Zotero. There are three versions of Omeka: Omeka S, Omeka Classic and Omeka Browser. When deciding which of the three a user wishes to use, there are visual representations of what they may expect with that model of Omeka. There are also integrated web pages for those who are curious to learn more about each model of Omeka. The Omeka landing page does not overwhelm visitors with too much information but allows for clear navigation to more information if they so choose.

Once a visitor chooses which version of Omeka to use, they will find that the platform allows users to tailor their exhibit to their own needs, abilities and volume of material. Integral to the Omeka platform is the Dublin Core, which is a valuable tool for entering and managing metadata related to an exhibit. There are fields for virtually any kind of metadata one could imagine, but users are not forced to fill out data that isn’t pertinent to their exhibit. In other words, the options are there, but aren’t mandatory to complete.

There are also numerous customization options for an Omeka page. One can tailor the look and format of their Omeka page to their own needs and preferences, much like a personal website. This is key to presenting a collection in a pleasing way to the creator’s audience.

Overall, Omeka is presented in a very professional manner and allows its users to create professional looking exhibits on a digital platform. The ability to customize an exhibit and have built in options to determine the amount of metadata one wants to include in an exhibit allows for both flexibility and professional quality work. Omeka is ideal for those who want to include visualization materials to their research while maintaining a professional looking exhibit that isn’t dominated by large blocks of text.

For more information on Omeka, please visit their website:
https://omeka.org/

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