In Omeka, if you want to tell a story using the Items and other content you’ve created, then you use an Exhibit. Exhibits incorporate content from elsewhere in the site, and give you the tools to write your narrative around them. The result can be analogous to a traditional academic paper, but with multimedia and linked content.

Let’s create a new exhibit, starting from the Admin dashboard you see when you log in to an Omeka site.

You’ll notice that I only added a title, which is the only mandatory exhibit descriptor. Here’s what the other options are for:

  • Slug: The slug will be part of the URL for your exhibit, like this: The title will be used to make a slug if you don’t create one.
  • Credits: These credits will appear on the first page of the exhibit.
  • Description: This description will appear on other pages in Omeka where you can browse through exhibits. If you have the “Use Summary Page?” option checked, it will also serve as the first page of your exhibit.
  • Tags: You can use tags to group together similar exhibits. The tags will appear by the exhibit when browsing through exhibits in Omeka.
  • Theme: You can change the look and feel of an exhibit by giving it a different theme from the rest of the Omeka site. You can then configure the theme to your wishes, so even if you select the same theme that the rest of the site uses, you can customize it for the exhibit.
  • Use Summary Page?: Checking this box will have the exhibit start on a page with the exhibit description above. Unchecking it will have the exhibit start on its first page, so the description will only be displayed when browsing exhibits.
  • Cover Image: You can specify a particular image to use to represent your exhibit when browsing exhibits. If you don’t, the first image that you add via an Item will be used.

After these options, we have the Pages section, where the content goes. Exhibits can be broken up into as many pages as you like, and can be arranged hierarchically. Each Page gets its own URL and place in the exhibit navigation.

Pages are made of Blocks, which contain different kinds of content. You’ll see at least “File with Text”, “Gallery”, “Text”, and “File” blocks, but other Omeka plugins may add their own Blocks. All of the Blocks just mentioned use Items for their content, with the exception of the Text Block. Let’s add some Items to a “File with Text” Block.

It’s pretty easy to include Items into a narrative in this way. Like Pages, blocks can be rearranged once created, although they have no hierarchy.

These are the basic building blocks of Omeka Exhibits, which can be combined in a variety of ways to tell stories about the items in an Omeka site.