Skip to Main Content

Course & Subject Guides

Building Digital Exhibits Using Omeka @ Pitt

What is Omeka?

The Omeka logo, showing a green nautilus-like visual of the golden ratio inside a rectangular box, next to green text reading "omeka."

Omeka ("Oh-meh-kah") is a web-based platform for creating public digital exhibits. It is best for projects focusing on objects and curation, which makes it a great option for projects involving archival materials. However, it can also be used to organize and present research materials such as photographs and multimedia. In addition to showcasing individual items, Omeka offers multiple ways of linking items together into collections and highly visual exhibits.

What is Omeka best for?

  • Digital collections and exhibits
  • Object-based studies
  • Emphasizing metadata
  • Organizing objects into explorable and discoverable collections
  • Adding long-form narrative and interpretation in multimodal exhibits

How might you use Omeka?

  • Researchers and scholars
    • Share primary source collections.
    • Publish a series of essays.
    • Create a companion exhibit for a published work.
    • Collaborate with others in the creation of digital scholarship.
  • Educators
    • Have students engage in the practices of curation, public writing, and primary source use.
    • Create an site as a classroom project, including narrative elements that can replace a traditional essay assignment.
  • Archivists and curators
    • Showcase collection materials.
    • Create a digital accompaniment to a physical exhibit.

Omeka Examples

Examples created by Pitt affiliates:

Other examples:

  • The Lomax Kentucky Project – An audio-rich collection highlighting the sound recordings of rural Kentucky music and lore collected under the auspices of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress between 1933 and 1942
  • Modern Art Goes Pop: Selections from W&L's Art Collection – A site from the Museums at Washington and Lee University that uses exhibits and collections to organize art objects and exhibit labels written by students

Omeka Versions

There are different versions of Omeka, which can be a little confusing when you're searching for information or trying to troubleshoot.

  • The University of Pittsburgh Library System supports, which doesn't require you to host your site on your own server. There are different plan tiers with varying degrees of customizability in terms of themes and plugins. Any user can create a free trial account and make their own Omeka site. The Library subscribes to the Platinum Plan.
  • Omeka Classic (or is a more feature-full option for users who are comfortable installing Omeka themselves. Access to Omeka Classic is not available through the Library, but Digital Scholarship Services is available to consult about Omeka Classic projects.
  • Omeka S is another version of Omeka meant for institutional users like museums, libraries, and archives. It is not suitable for individual projects.

Always make sure you're consulting the correct documentation for your version of Omeka! This guide will focus exclusively on documentation for