Setting Up Omeka

  • Sign up for an account (you can have one account – and thereby one free site – per email account)
    • Choose the free Basic Plan

Omeka sign up

  • Complete the form – make sure you record the password and email address that you enter!

Sign up form

  • Check the email account you entered, find the email from and click on the link in  the message to activate your account
  • You will go to your ACCOUNT dashboard – click on Add a Site


  • ONE GROUP MEMBER ONLY (this is the site that your group will share for the project – other group members should also create a site to use to get familiar with Omeka, which can have whatever name you like!)

Add a site


  • subdomain name – soldier first name soldier last name (or something like that which is available)
  • title – Graffiti Soldier
  • description — ‘Project for NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture Workshop for Teachers, George Mason University, 2016’
  • Add new site
  • Your site will now appear in the account dashboard – click Manage Site


  • You are now in your SITE dashboard

site dashboard

  • GROUP MEMBER WHO CREATED THE SOLDIER SITE ONLY – Click on Users in the menu on the top right – add the other members of your group &
    1. Make sure you use the same email address each group member used to create their accounts
    2. Each group member needs to accept that invitation
  • Click on Plugins in the SITE Dashboard – plugins add functionality to your Omeka site
    1. Click the Install button for these plugins: Exhibit Builder, Hide Elements & Simple Pages
    2. Click on the title of your site in the top left to see what your empty site looks like
    3. Click on Omeka admin in the top right of your site to return to the SITE dashboard
  • Click on Appearance – the free version of comes with 4 themes – click on one of the Use this theme buttons to change the theme – and see what it looks like
    1. Note – the Season theme is the only theme in the free which displays full size items, above the description information. Other themes display thumbnails, which can be clicked to access the full image


  • Click on Items on the left menu, and then Add an item
  • Dublin Core is the set of categories that you can use to describe your item. They are all optional! We are going to use just the basic categories. The item we are going to add is a photograph of a CMSR card for a soldier called Consider Flower – download it and open it: Flower CMSR

Add metadata

  1. Title? For records that are forms, as many of those you have for your soldier are, the title can be the title of the form. If the document has no title, you should create a brief, one sentence description of the item (letter from John Doe to Jane Doe, or Graffiti left by Consider Flower etc) 
    1. In this case, the form has a title – Company Muster-in Roll
  2. Description? A brief description of what is in the document
    1. In this case, Record of enlistment, muster-in and muster roll for Consider Flower (you could also put the soldier’s name in the title)
  3. Creator? This could be who took the photograph or who created the object in the photograph. When working with historical records, the focus is the object in the photograph, so it should be the creator of the document
    1. In this case, the creator is the clerk who compiled the card, and signed the bottom – Hursted – not the soldier, who is the subject of the card
  4. Source? Compiled Military Service Record, National Archives and Records Administration
  5. Date? Again, this could refer to the photograph or the object in it – so it is generally the date a document is created.
    1. In this case, there is no date the document is created, but there are dates about which the document provides information
    2. You can record multiple dates (or any element) by clicking the Add input button
  6. Contributor? You
  7. Rights? Public Domain
  • Check the Public box under the Add Item button (if this is unchecked, your item will only be visible to people logged into your site)
  • Click Files at the top of the page

Add file

  1. Click Choose File and find the downloaded file
  2. Click Add Item

Browse Items

  • To see what your item looks like, click on the name of the item
    • This page is the admin view – click on View Public Page to see the public view

Look at item

  • Click on Plugins, scroll to Hide Elements, click on Configure
    1. Check the Elements we are not using in the Form column (this will mean they do not appear when you add an item)
    2. Click Save Changes


An exhibit is a presentation of your items, with added text and customized layouts.

An exhibit can have multiple pages, and you can drag and drop them to rearrange the order, even making some pages sub-sections of others.

  1. To create an exhibit, click on the Exhibits tab in the left menu of your SITE dashboard and then Add an exhibit.


  • Give your exhibit a title and a slug (the other fields are not required)
    • A slug is what will be added to the url to identify your exhibit
  • Click on the green Add Page button at the bottom of the page.

Add Page

  • On the page that follows, give your page a title and a slug.
    • Pages are made up of blocks, which can be files and test, just files, or just text. A page can have multiple blocks.
  • In New Block, select the File with Text option and then the green Add new content block button that will appear when you select a block option

Page Content

  • In Block 1 (File with Text) click the Add Item button.
    • In the window which opens, click on your item and then click Select Item. You can add a caption if you want. Click the green Apply button.
    • Add some text to the text box below the Blocks
  • Click Save Changes
  • Click the View Public Page button to see how your Omeka site looks.