Using for digital exhibits: Items, Collections, and Exhibits

Use digital exhibits to support work in public history, digital humanities, present special collections and archives research and more!

Items, Collections, and Exhibits

Exhibit Building Blocks

You can develop your exhibit around all, or a few of these basic elements, depending on the story you are planning to tell.

  • Items: Building blocks for exhibits, can be used in or referenced anywhere in your site.
  • Collections: useful for grouping items together, with a particular theme or characteristics.
  • Pages: Useful for orienting readers to your website, describing your project, providing long form narration about your findings
  • Exhibits: Provide information to the people visiting your site, with a more structured visual orientation. Exhibits can have multiple pages with different layouts depending on your content. Useful when you want your readers to see groups of your items in a particular, more linear context

Adding Items

Get started by adding some items to feature in an exhibit collection or exhibit display.

Add an item in Omeka

I'm going to add this item, a poster called Books, the Ideal Gift, to a collection I'm creating of book and library promotional images. 

Adding descriptive information to the item

In addition to adding descriptive information or metadata, such as the title of the item, author/creator, description, and date, you can add additional information on the next few tabs:

Item type (text, image, multimedia?)

Item type metadata

Adding the file (for example an image file like a .jpg or .png, or a text file like a .pdf)

Uploading a file to your item


Once you've added an item, you can go back and edit it later as needed.

Items can be edited after they have been uploaded

While allows you to fill in a variety of metadata fields about the items you are adding to the exhibit, being consistent is important. 

  • Ensuring that visitors to your site have a uniform experience when they look at your digital exhibits is a good priority. For example, try adding all your items with descriptive fields like Title, Description, Creator, Date, Publisher, and Rights, or whatever combination of fields makes the most sense for your project.
  • If you are reusing items that someone else uploaded to another digital library or repository, it is good practice to link back to the source item as a way of citing the source of the image. You can add a link to the original image in the Relation field.


If you have a group of similar items, you can group them together, and then feature them in exhibits or embed them in pages on your web site. Go to the Collections tab to add a new collection.

Add a new collection to your site



When you have a collection of items you wish to feature in an exhibit, you can create a visual layout along with text commenting on the items you have collected

Select Layout

Pick a layout and add some text, here the Gallery option is selected:


Adding images and text to exhibit

Your exhibit page will feature thumbnail images of your collection items, along with your text explaining your exhibit:

Book poster exhibit page


Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library