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Digital Collection Class Projects

This guide is designed to assist students with completing digital collection class projects.

What is a digital exhibit?

Omeka S is a content management system for online digital collections. We are using Omeka S to build digital exhibits for your class projects.  

Omeka S is structured out of three different types of "building blocks":

  • Items: The individual building blocks of a collection. Sortable by type of item and tags.

    • Students in ENGL 519 will create three to five items.

    • Students in ENGL 609 will create four to six items.

  • Pages: Pages allow for interpretation and display of a group of items. Each student will create a single page to create their own digital exhibit. The page can be a combination of items, interpretive text, etc.

  • Sites: Sites are the public-facing side of Omeka S. They contain interpretative text and rely on items as their building blocks.  They usually highlight aspects of a collection based on some common theme. There will be one site for the entire ENGL 519/609 class.

The remainder of this guide will walk you through three steps:

  1. Logging in to Omeka
  2. Updating User Information
  3. Adding items to Omeka

Log in to Omeka

Log in to the University of Calgary Class Projects for Omeka site:

You should have received an e-mail from Omeka S ( with information about your username and instructions for how to login. If you didn't receive it, or can't find it, please use the "forgot password" link and enter your e-mail address to get a new link.

Change user information

Once logged in, you can change user information such as your display name and password. To change your display name: 

1. Go to "Users" under ADMIN, and use the Advanced search option, at the top of screen, to search for your email.


2. Search for your current profile 


3. Select the pencil icon to edit. 

4. Under the User information tab you can change the Display name to the name you would like to appear in Omeka. Then Save your changes.

Create your page

Create a new page to showcase your items, along with interpretive text and any other assets.

The Omeka S help documentation has an excellent guide for creating pages.

Pages in Omeka S are comprised of various blocks of content. For the Digital Middlemarch Projects, each page will:

  1. Use 3 “HTML” block to add interpretive text for the introduction, conclusion, and works cited

  2. Use 1 “Item Showcase” block to display media items in a visually-appealing way

    • The captions available for each item in the "Item Showcase" will contain the paragraph of description for that item

Play around with other blocks to get a page that meets your goals!

Pages, as well as underlying items, will be browseable on the Digital Middlemarch Projects site.

NB: Library staff have to add your page to the navigation menu of the site, so this won't happen instantly! If it's been a few days and you still don't see your page in the navigation menu, contact Ingrid.

Add an item in Omeka

  • Go to Items in the left sidebar menu
  • Select Add new Item (top right)

    Screenshot showing how to add an item


  • In the next screen, under the Values tab you should see that you're adding an item to the Resource template titled "ENGL 519/609" - it is important to ensure you're using the correct template!  

  • On Values tab, add metadata to the metadata fields that are shown.  For assistance in how to enter metadata, take a look at the class template (available on the next page!). Note: The title and contributor fields are required and must be filled before you can save the item, you can fill in the other fields now or return to the item and edit them later.


  • You're now finished adding the metadata for your item. The next step will involve either uploading or embedding the media (e.g. digital image, audio file, PDF, etc). for your item.


Add media file(s)

  • Go to the Media tab. Depending on your media type, choose the appropriate option from the right hand menu. You can include more than one media file if necessary. Each media file must be 40 MB or smaller. Larger files must be hosted elsewhere and then embedded
  • Digital images should use the upload feature
  • Once you're finished, click the "Add" tab on the top right.



Repeat the steps above for each media item.