"Omeka" is a newly launched website geared towards "cultural institutions, enthusiasts, and educators." Developed by The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), Omeka’s purpose is to provide a free online display platform that museums, historical societies, scholars, libraries, etc. can use for publishing collections and exhibitions online. Inside Higher Ed today reports that Omeka allows users to curate items professionally by offering easy creation of online collections.
Features that Omeka offers for online collections include:
- A Dublin Core metadata structure and standards-based design that is fully accessible and interoperable
- Professional-looking exhibit sites that showcase collections without hiring outside designers
- Theme-switching for changing the look and feel of an exhibit in a few clicks
- Plug-ins for geolocation, bi-lingual sites, and other possibilities
- Web 2.0 Technologies, including tagging, blogging and syndicating.
The beta code for Omeka is being made available to the general public today. The developers envision itas a relatively simple way to produce a rich, well-designed site that meets the common needs of librarians and archivists.
The Omeka site has a showcase of several current projects. One example of a site that has used an earlier version of Omeka is the April 16 Archive, created by Virginia Tech after last year’s shooting attacks. Another project is collecting the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
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