Innovating Public History: Crafting an Omeka Collection

Omeka Collection

This weeks assignment for History and New Media entailed that each class member create an Omeka account and add craft an online collection.  My classmates and myself were required to come up with a topic and theme for our respective Omeka sites and either digitize a series of images for the collection or pull from already digitized images and collections available to the public.  My Omeka site shares its name with this site, Innovating Public History, and can be found here.

The Omeka site enabled me to complete this assignment quickly and easily. All that was required for me to create my own site was to sign up for an account on the Omeka homepage.  This simply required my name and email address.  I was well on my way to creating my first online collection!

Once I created my site, I played around with different navigational tools within my site which taught me how set a theme, appearance, and how to add new items and collections to my page.  Next, I set my theme and began crafting a collection and adding items.

For this particular assignment, I created one collection entitled Come on, boys! Do your duty!: World War I Propaganda. One great thing about Omeka is that when you add a new item, you can specify which collection (if any and if you have multiple) to which you want to add that item. As a result of this feature, I added ten items to my collection.  These items were a series of World War I propaganda posters dating from between 1914 and 1920 which I retrieved these from the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Division.

I really enjoyed my introduction to Omeka.  The platform has a number of tools to customize the user’s website including plugins, themes, and users.  Fortunately, these tools are simple and easily navigable.  Omeka provides museum professionals with an online platform to create not only online collections, but also exhibits.  So, check back next Tuesday to see my Omeka exhibit!


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