Doing My [Digital] Duty!: Curating an Online Exhibit via Omeka

Last week in History and New Media, our class was required to register for an Omeka account and create an online collection that consisted of ten items.

 Mine can be seen hereOmeka Collection

This week, we were required to build upon our work from last week and curate an online exhibit using the items that we placed in our collections.

My exhibition is entitled Come on, boys! Do your duty!: World War I Propaganda

Omeka ExhibitThe exhibit thematically (not chronologically) highlights propaganda poster from around the time of World War I (1914-1920).  I organized the exhibit into five sections: the introduction, military recruitment posters, posters designed for women, political posters, and the conclusion.

First, the Introduction: How Posters Shaped Society discusses how propaganda posters transformed the way in which ideas were disseminated.  This section features one generalized military recruitment poster that inspired the creation and name of the exhibit.

Next, the Military Recruitment Posters section explains that while posters were an effective form of communication across a wide range of topics, perhaps their most significant and popular use was for military recruiting. This section features various military recruitment posters.

Third, the Posters Designed for Women section explained how posters were used to recruit women into organizations such as the Red Cross to support the war effort. This section features a Red Cross recruitment poster.

Then, the Political Posters section discusses how the United States government designed posters to get civilian Americans to support the war effort.  This section features a poster that advertises liberty bonds and a poster that announces the deadline to sign up for the draft in the Territory of Hawaii.

Finally, the Conclusion: How Posters Did Their Duty recapitulates the main themes of the exhibit.  In particular, it focuses on how World War I posters transformed communication techniques. This section features a poster that speaks to not only the exhibit’s title, but also the title of the conclusion.

Overall, using Omeka to create an online exhibit was quick and easy.  In order to create an exhibit, all the user has to do is add the exhibit builder pluggin. Once this step is complete, just follow the instructions on the screen.  The user is able to change and personalize the theme of the site for the exhibit.  Basically, to create an exhibit in Omeka is like filling out a form.  The site asks your to input the information for the object along with the content and viola! the work is complete.

I look forward to working with Omeka in the future to not only improve my skills as a digital historians but to also continue my adventure in innovating public history.

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