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Course & Subject Guides

Building Digital Exhibits Using Omeka @ Pitt


Collections are a way of grouping content in your Omeka site. The concept of Omeka collections originates from museum and archives collections; one cannot put a document into more than one box. You can create collections based on themes, time periods, or other shared attributes among your site's items. In, you can also use structures like exhibits, metadata, and tags to collocate similar items.

Create a CollectionA dark red menu with the text "Collections" highlighted in lighter red, indicating that page is selected

  1. Click on the “Collections” tab in the left navigation bar from the Dashboard. Any collections you have created will be listed here.
  2. To create a new collection, click, “Add a Collection.”.
  3. Collections, like items, are described using Dublin Core metadata. You can enter as much metadata as you like, but at a minimum you should enter a Title and Description.
  4. To make your collection public, check the “Public” box under the “Add Collection” button. To feature this collection on the front page of your Omeka site, check “Feature.”
  5. When you are finished adding metadata, click “Add Collection.”


For more information on managing collections, please refer to the user guide


A light green horizontal box with darker green text reading Exhibit Builder


What is an Omeka Exhibit?

The Exhibit Builder plugin allows you to develop online exhibits using items from your Omeka site.  Exhibits are great ways to "exhibit" long form writing, incorporate outside research, include interpretation and analysis of site items, and highlight multimodal research. Within exhibits, you are really able to flex those creative muscles!

For more information about exhibits, please refer to the user guide. Instructions for creating an exhibit are also presented on this page.

Exhibit Examples

  • Erroll Garner: Four Thematic Snapshots: Graduate students in the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Studies program each curated and authored a thematic page in this exhibit using materials from the Erroll Garner Archive.
  • ASRA 2021: Undergraduate recipients of the Archival Scholar Research Award (ASRA) each contributed a page to this group exhibit.
  • Science Fiction Fall 2019: Undergraduate students working in groups created exhibits to showcase Special Collections materials.

Create an Exhibit

Install the Exhibit Builder Plugin

  • You will need to activate the Exhibit Builder plugin. Select "Plugins" on the top bar of your site.

A dark horizontal bar with the text Plugins - Appearance - Users - Settings

  • Locate the Exhibit Builder plugin and click "Install."

    • After installing, a "Configure" button will appear. You can choose how to order your exhibits: by date added, alphabetically by name, or most recent.

  • The Exhibits tab will now be available on the left-side navigation bar. Clicking on this link will take you to the Browse Exhibits page.

A dark red menu with the text "Exhibits" highlighted in lighter red, indicating that page is selected

Create an Exhibit

  • To create an exhibit, go to the Exhibits tab and click the button labeled “Add an Exhibit." This will take you to a new page where you can enter the following metadata:

    • Title: the name of your exhibit, which will be displayed to users.
    • Slug: the abbreviated exhibit name which appears in the URL, in the pattern[slug].
    • Credits: acknowledgements which will be publicly visible.
    • Description: an introduction or overview for the exhibit.
    • Tags: keywords or themes that give users another option for finding exhibits.
  • Once you have entered the required data, click "Save Changes" to create your exhibit.

  • You have now created your main Exhibit Metadata page. In order to add content, you need to add some Pages.

Create a Page

  1. To create a page, scroll to the bottom of the exhibit you created and find the "Pages" section. Click "Add Page."
  2. Give your page the following metadata:
    • Title: the name of your page, which will be displayed to users.
    • Menu Link Title: the name of the page that will be displayed in the exhibit menu. If you have a long page title, you might choose a shortened version for the menu link.
    • Page Slug: the abbreviated page name that appears in the URL, in the pattern[exhibit-name]/[slug]
  3. Next you will start adding content. Pages are organized using content units called “blocks.” Each page can have one or more content blocks to display text and item files (e.g. images from your item records). Your blocks will stack vertically, so imagine each block as a different section of your exhibit page.A screenshot of the New Block page section, with the text "Select layout" followed by four different diagrams in tan and white showing different block layouts including File with Text, Gallery, Text, and File
  4. Click the type of block layout you would like to add and then click the "Add new content block" button at the bottom of the "New block" section.
  5. Your new block will appear in the "Content" section above the "New block" section. Depending on the type of block you added, you can select items to display, add captions for those items, and/or add text.
    • You can also explore the Layout Options using the menu at the bottom of each content block.
  6. When you have your block draft completed, you can add more blocks using steps 4 and 5 above.
  7. Make sure to save your work often!


Organize Your Exhibit

  • You can reorder exhibit pages by dragging and dropping them into the order you like from the Exhibit Metadata page. You can even make your pages hierarchical!
  • To delete a page, click the X next to the page title and then click the "Save Changes" button. This cannot be undone.