This guide for GC Online was developed by Stefano Morello and is based on the Omeka workshop developed for the Graduate Center Digital Initiatives.
What is Omeka?
Omeka is a free Content Management System (CMS) used by archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and individual researchers for publishing digital collections.With Omeka, you can describe items according to archival standards (using customizable metadata), import and export data from other systems, and create many different kinds of online exhibits and collections.
What can I build with it?
Built by scholars, Omeka allows users to create searchable online databases and exhibits of digitized content. It mimics museum organization, where holdings are divided into collections that can be publicly displayed and curated into exhibitions.
How do I get access to Omeka?
There are two ways to use Omeka: you can download a free, open-source version of the server-side software at the Omeka.org homepage, or, if you don’t have a hosting space or would just rather not deal with managing one, you can sign up for a free or paid “hosted” versions at Omeka.net.
How can Omeka be used in courses?
Omeka is best suited for projects that involve a digital (or digitizable) collection with metadata that you want to curate, organize, and describe. Omeka offers some great features that integrate well within teaching environments and is especially valuable for projects that involve archival preservation (digitizing and describing objects from physical archives and creating metadata descriptions and virtual exhibits), “Archival Recovering,” and “Archival Remixing” (presenting visual analyses or reinterpretations of holdings, including born-digital material, from other websites or digital archives).
Where can I find further resources?
- Digital Archive Research Collective (DARC) Wiki
- Digital Archive Research Collective (DARC)
- “What Do We Mean by ‘Digital Archives?'”
- Omeka Gym
- Omeka Classic, Omeka.net, or Omeka S?
- “Teaching With Digital Archives in the First-Year Writing Classroom”
- Allison C. Marsh, “Omeka in the Classroom: The Challenges of Teaching Material Culture in a Digital World.” Literary and Linguistic Computing, Volume 28, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 279–282.
- The City of Boston archives
- Colored Conventions
- East Bay Punk Digital Archive
- Fifteenth-Century Italian Art (by Nicole Riesenberger)
- Goin’ North
- Ice Age Flood Explorer (by Chad Pritchard, Larry Cebula, and Paul Lindholdt)
- James Monroe Papers (by Alexandra deGraffenreid, Seth Mintzer, MacKenzie Murphy, Chris Wright)
- Fredericksburg: City of Hospitals (by Jeffrey McClurken)
To engage in further discussion or ask questions, visit and join the GC Online Commons Group here.