We are currently involved in a project which involves digitising a collection of newspaper clipping and then making them available (and usable) for research online. We are exporting the scanned articles as PDFs and then using the open source collections management software Omeka, developed by the Centre for History and New Media, to organise and display them. As Omeka has not been used extensively in Southern Africa, I thought I could use this project as an introduction to the software and will make regular progress reports on this blog, as the project develops.
Firstly, a bit more about the software – lifted directly from their website 🙂
So what is Omeka?
Omeka is a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions. Its “five-minute setup” makes launching an online exhibition as easy as launching a blog. Omeka is designed with non-IT specialists in mind, allowing users to focus on content and interpretation rather than programming. It brings Web 2.0 technologies and approaches to academic and cultural websites to foster user interaction and participation. It makes top-shelf design easy with a simple and flexible templating system. Its robust open-source developer and user communities underwrite Omeka’s stability and sustainability.
Until now, scholars and cultural heritage professionals looking to publish collections-based research and online exhibitions required either extensive technical skills or considerable funding for outside vendors. By making standards based, serious online publishing easy, Omeka puts the power and reach of the web in the hands of academics and cultural professionals themselves.
How might you use Omeka?
- Use Omeka to share collections and build online exhibits with objects you cannot display in the museum. Invite your visitors to tag and mark items as favorites, or to contribute content. Start a blog to publish museum news and podcasts.
- Examples: Lincoln at 200, Inventing Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe, 1850 to the Present , Object of History, Catawba River Docs, Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives