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How has Omeka worked for you? Presenting old media with new media...

How has Omeka worked for you? Presenting old media with new media...

Hello HASTAC community!

I'm working on a project here at Brown University that aims to give an exciting digital presentation of a collection of early-modern print culture. I'm personally working on a book called "Un An à Rome et dans ses environs"- a grand tour era french book depicting the people and culture of Rome. The book is charming and enticing, but the digitized version of it is not!

So I'm wondering, does anyone have a good example of an Omeka project that enlivens digitized books? In your experience, what about Omeka work in my favor?

What other digital presentations of print media might be more exciting than a collection of jpgs?




Hi Sarah,

Your project over at Brown sounds terrific. I'm the Digitization Coordinator and one of the designers of the Media History Digital Library. We also work with text-based materials, which the Internet Archive scans and hosts for us.

My co-designer and the project's Digital Archivist, Wendy Hagenmaier, is currently experimenting with ways to use Omeka exhibits on our WordPress site. We're looking for a good platform that will allow users to build exhibits with our public domain newspapers and magazines. I will let you know how it goes. We ought to know more by the end of the month.




Hi Sarah, 

Sounds like a neat project! At the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS, I'm working with a course in Catholic Studies entitled, "Mary in the Catholic Imagination" in digitizing texts, images, and paintings in the Georgetown Library and campus to create a digital exhibit. One of the groups is creating a visual timeline to create within Omeka. Similarly to Eric, we are integrating the site into our Georgetown Wordpress themes. On October 17, we are having a hands-on worskshop, where the students will be adding scanned images and photographs to the site/collection. I will keep you posted on the progress of the site and as we develop a better "front" end display of the curated works. 

Until then,




I've found Omeka to be best for displaying individual digitized objects such as broadsheets, prints, and photographs, rather than complete books. In my own search for a technology to display a digitized old edition of The Sacred Harp, I've focused primarily on tools created specifically for the display of digitized books on the web.

I'm curious whether you have looked at the Internet Archive BookReader. This open source technology, which is used on the Internet Archive web site to display books they have scanned, can also be deployed on other sites.

You can find a year-old discussion of the BookReader and other technologies I've examined in relation to my own project here: Presenting Digitized Books on the Web.

I'd love to hear more about what draws you towards Omeka for this project rather than a more specifically book-oriented tool.



When you say, "enlivens digitized books," what do you mean? What kind of functionality are you looking for? I've just started investigating Omeka, but it's been put upon me to find out exactly what it's best for.