HomeOmeka Basics

Omeka Basics

Site Structure


Items are the most basic level of any Omeka site. When you upload an item, you are asked to provide metadata in Dublin Core. These items will remain in your personal library, only becoming accessible on the site if you link to a collection or place them in an exhibit.

Omeka can display items in multiple formats on the website, including still images, word processing documents, presentation slides, spreadsheets, audio files, and video files, with the full list of file types available in the Omeka.net documentation. But the critical factor to keep in mind is file size and storage space:

  • A file can be no larger than 128 MB.
  • The free Omeka.net account only accommodates up to 500 MB of storage. If you need more storage, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan or install Omeka on your own web hosting server.

How to upload Items


Organize items into collections. Just as physical items only exist in one collection in an archives, Omeka only allows items to exist in one digital collection. When items are organized into collections, users can browse the project through these item sets.

How to make a Collection


Exhibits are curated digital showcases combining images, text, audio, video, and other uploaded items int oa coherent narrative for people to browse. Exhibits can pull items from multiple collections and bring them together for display. 

How to build an Exhibit

Planning and Site Mapping Methods

There are multiple ways you can outline your Omeka site and exhibits.  You can write an outline:

Title: The Great Commitments

I. Origin of the Great Commitments exhibit

II. The Great Commitments exhibit

  A. First Great Commitment section

  B. Second Great Commitment section 

      1. History

      2. Examples in practice

III. The Great Commitments in 2019 exhibit

Or you can create an online flow chart for better visualization.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can arrange Post-Its on a wall or desk, cut out images to arrange on a flat surface, or do any other organizing methods you choose. The most important thing is to Plan Ahead.  

Open an Omeka.net Account

The easiest and most accessible way to use Omeka is to sign up for a hosted Omeka.net account. The hosted accounts on Omeka.net are available at four levels: The free Basic account provides one (1) site and 500 MB of storage space. If you need more space than this, the Library has an institutional subscription that has much more storage capacity, plug-in extensions, and themes you can use. To create a site with the Library’s Omeka.net account, contact the Digital Initiatives Librarian at houstonl@berea.edu

  • To start a free Omeka.net site, select "Learn which plan is right for you" on the home page.
  • Select "Start your free Omeka trial" 
  • Enter the requested information
  • Then open your email account to find the confirmation email sent by Omeka
  • Click the confirmation email to activate your account

Create a Site

After you log into your new Omeka.net account, click on "My Account" at the top of the page. On the Account page (also called the Dashboard) click on “Add a Site.”

The "add a site" screen asks you for the subdomain name, the site title, and a description.

Title your site by filling in the Subdomain blank of “[    ].omeka.net” and the Site Title entry space. Add a brief Site Description if you want, and then click “Add Your New Site.” You’ll then be taken back to My Dashboard, which now will list your site. 


The Dashboard shows the site name, storage used, and gives the option to visit, manage, or delete the site.


Click on the “Manage Site” link under the domain name, in order to get to the Omeka Admin "My Dashboard" to edit your website. For more assistance, see the Omeka.net documentation.

Typical Omeka workflow

To create a digital exhibition, the general workflow steps are:

  1. Create a new Collection
  2. Create Items that are assigned to the Collection
  3. Create a new Exhibit
  4. Create a Page in the Exhibit
  5. Add Blocks to the Page that include Items you created

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have completed your exhibition.  Then,

  1. Publish the exhibition by changing all Items, Collections, and Exhibits from “Private” to “Public”
  2. Create a banner for the image