SDSU's Omeka S Digital Exhibit Platform
Omeka S is a digital exhibit platform created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Omeka S is a powerful, easy-to-use platform for creating digital exhibits of library, archival, and museum collections. It is also a pedagogical tool for instructors looking to create class exhibits. An Omeka S digital exhibit is comprised of a range of media, including images, video, PDFs, and sound. Omeka S allows creators to build narrative-rich exhibits around these digital objects. Omeka S uses the Dublin Core metadata standard for describing digital objects.
SDSU University Library hosts all Omeka S exhibit sites on behalf of SDSU users. The DH Center provides support for Omeka S, including managing exhibit sites and user accounts and providing both synchrounous and self-paced training.
Omeka S User Guidelines
SDSU University Library offers Omeka S site hosting for SDSU community members to create digital exhibits to support teaching, research, and scholarly-creative activities. Omeka S users can build their own digital collections by uploading their own media (images, PDFs, multimedia content, etc.). Because Omeka S is a multisite platform, all content lives in one place; thus all items uploaded to one site can be accessed and re-purposed in other sites unless a creator restricts usage.
SDSU members are solely responsible for the content they upload to their individual sites. SDSU instructors who use Omeka S to create class exhibits are responsible for the content their students upload. Make sure you are familiar with copyright and fair use policies.
Because SDSU Library server space is limited, Omeka S users should be careful to not use large files when uploading content. Individual files may not exceed 10 MB though users should strive for smaller files. Content creators are responsible for ensuring that their content is in the public domain or that appropriate permissions have been secured for copyrighted materials.
Types of Content Supported
The following file formats that can be uploaded to Omeka:
- doc, docx
- jp2, jpe, jpeg, jpg
- m4a, m4v
- mp3, mp4 (do NOT upload .wav files; convert wav to .mp3)
- ods, odt
- pps, pptx
Audio and Visual Content
While video and audio formats are permitted, users are strongly encouraged to load multimedia objects to an appropriate external hosting platform. For example, videos can be uploaded to YouTube as either a public or unlisted video (private videos will not play). If you don't have access to external platforms, you should compress your file so that it does not tax our servers. For instance, large audio .wav files should be exported as small .mp3s.
Per CSU accessibility requirements, all media must be captioned or have a transcript; alt text is strongly encouraged.
SDSU Library manages the installation of new themes and modules, once careful vetting has been completed. Individual users may not install Omeka S themes and modules. You may request a new theme or module, which will then be assessed for compatability, security, and accessibility. Contact Dr. Pam Lach to make your request.
For security purposes, user accounts are constrained depending on an individual's role.
Faculty will be set up as managers for their sites, allowing them full administrative privileges for the site, including adding/removing users and deleting the site. For class projects, students will be added as creators, which allows them to access, create, and edit content (but student creators can only edit their own collection items).
Faculty are responsible for:
- Adding and managing site users and/or coordinating with Dr. Pam Lach to add student users to class sites
- Ensuring content is in the public domain or copyright has been secured
- Initiating requests for extending support for a site; requests must be made prior to the conclusion of the original five-year timeframe by emailing Dr. Pam Lach
- Backing up all data/content for future use
- Maintaining static artifacts for post-sunsetting purposes, including creating screenshots and/or demo videos
Most students who use Omeka S will do so as creators on a class project site. Students who are approved to use Omeka S for their own research purposes will be expected to adhere to the same responsiblities as faculty site owners.
SDSU Library provides server space and access to Omeka S. Library IT perform regular security checks, updates, and upgrades. Note that there may be downtime during maintenance periods.
The DH Center is responsible for supporting the use of Omeka S at SDSU, including:
- Managing the creation and sunsetting of individual sites and user accounts
- Reviewing requests for new themes and modules and, when appropriate, recommending implementation to Library IT
- Receiving and processing bug reports
- Providing training and user support as available
Training and Support
The DH Center team created a set of resources to help you learn how to use Omeka S.
The Omeka S Tutorials Exhibit includes helpful guides and information. This exhibit assists first-time or returning digital curators in how Omeka S manages online digital collections. Among the Omeka S tutorials are YouTube videos created by the SDSU DH Center, hyperlinks to further information about metadata, the Omeka S manual, and HTML coding tricks, as well as helpful visuals and tips to help maximize the productivity of future SDSU exhibits. Created by DH Center staff member Laura Scott (January 2024).
The DH Center team provides training and support for Omeka, as available. We've also created an Introduction to Omeka S slide deck.
Faculty should email Dr. Pam Lach, Digital Humanities Librarian and DH Center Director, to request a site. Requests should include:
- Course information (course name, title, semester, number of students) OR research project overview
- Tentative title for the Omeka S exhibit (may be shortened for the purposes of creating the URL)
Student requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis, typically in support of a digital thesis, independent study, etc.
To get started, email Dr. Lach.