Our Favourite Omeka Plugins

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:54 AM

At Andornot, we're big fans of the Omeka web publishing and content management platform, as a low cost, easy, simple way to get historic, cultural or other content online. Why, we've even launched a whole website dedicated to it: Digital History Hub !

One of Omeka's many strengths is the selection of plugins that add all sorts of extra features. By our count, there are over 90 of them. Most are listed here and here, but we've found a few others around the web too. Some of the plugins are older and not as actively supported as others, or serve only a very specific purpose, or are not of use to very many Omeka users.

We've reviewed and tried them almost all of them, though, and present here our most highly recommended ones. These are plugins that, in our view, should be added to almost every Omeka site as they are each so useful and so likely to appeal to a wide array of Omeka users. About half are helpful for Omeka site administrators, while the other half offer new features in the public side.

Learn more about each plugin by clicking its name here: http://omeka.org/add-ons/plugins/ and then the More Info link.

Plugin NameDescription and Andornot Comments
Admin Images Allows administrators to upload images not attached to items for use in carousels and simple pages. Very handy.
Bulk Metadata Editor Adds search and replace functionality, allowing administrators to update metadata fields over many records quickly and easily.
CSV Import Imports items, tags, and files from CSV files. Great when you have data in another database, such as Inmagic DB/TextWorks and don't want to re-key it into Omeka.
Derivative Images Recreate (or create) derivative images (e.g. thumbnails). Handy when the initial size set proves to be too large or too small for the selected theme. Saves re-uploading each image.
Exhibit Builder Build rich exhibits using Omeka. See jpl-presents.org for an Omeka site that uses exclusively exhibits to present content.
HTML5 Media Enables HTML5 for media files using MediaElement.js, to allow streaming playback. Great for sites with audio and video recordings.
Google Analytics A small plugin to include Google Analytics JavaScript code on pages. Everyone should want to know how much traffic their site gets!
Search By Metadata Allows administrators to configure metadata fields to link to items with same field value (e.g. click a Subject link to view all records with that same Subject).
Simple Contact Form Adds a simple contact form for users to contact the administrator. Be sure to configure the RECAPTCHA anti-spam feature too. Requires mail sending ability on the server, but a nice alternative to just listing an email address.
Simple Pages Allows administrators to create additional web pages for their public site. In our view, every site should have at least some sort of About page with more information about the site, who created it, etc.
Sitemap 2 This Omeka 2.0+ plugin provides a persistent url for a dynamically generated XML Sitemap, for SEO purposes. With this enabled, create a Google Webmaster account (and similar one in Bing) to feed your site into these search engines.
Social Bookmarking Uses AddThis to insert a customizable list of social bookmarking sites on each item page. Great for helping users share your items on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, etc.

All of the plugins above are installed and ready to use in every site built through our Digital History Hub.

The next list of plugins below are those which we think are quite useful, on a case-by-case basis. We make them available in every Digital History Hub Omeka site, for the site owner to install, configure and use if it suits their needs, their data and their audience.

Plugin NameDescription and Andornot Comments
Commenting Allows commenting on Items, Collections, Exhibits, and more. Most useful for gathering feedback from other site administrators, in our view. Consider Disqus instead for public comments (Note: there is an older Disqus plugin, but it may need updating).
Contribution Allows collecting items from visitors. Great for engaging the community and gathering additional contributions to a site. Requires the Guest User plugin.
Contributor Contact Supplies administrators with tools to contact contributors in bulk. Complements the above Contribution plugin.
CSS Editor Add public CSS styles through the admin interface. Useful when you don't have access to the theme's CSS files and want to make some minor adjustments.
Geolocation Adds location info and maps to Omeka. Who doesn't love browsing a map as a way of discovering resources!
Getty Suggest Enable an autosuggest feature for Omeka elements using the Getty Collection controlled vocabularies. Could be quite useful for art and architectural items, as well as place names.
Guest User Adds a guest user role. Can't access the backend administrative interface, but allows plugins such as Contribution to use an authenticated user.
Hide Elements Hide admin-specified metadata elements. Great when you really don't need even the 15 Dublin Core elements and have, perhaps, volunteers performing data entry – makes it even simpler for them.
PDF Embed Embeds PDF documents into item and file pages. Very useful if you have these in your Omeka collection.
Simple Vocab A simple way to create controlled vocabularies, such as keywords or subjects, for consistent data entry. Works best with small-ish vocabularies.
Simple Vocab Plus A fuller featured option for controlled vocabularies with auto suggest.

Visit our Digital History Hub site for more information on Omeka and low-cost hosting plans, or contact us for help getting an Omeka site up, or for adding these or other plugins to an existing one.

And watch this blog for more in-depth posts about select plugins. Next up is a step-by-step guide to exporting data from an Inmagic DB/TextWorks database, then batch importing it into Omeka.

Tags: Omeka

Andornot's June 2017 Newsletter Available: News, Tips and Tricks for Libraries, Archives and Museums

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, June 22, 2017 8:54 AM

Andornot's June 2017 Newsletter has been emailed to subscribers and is available to read here, with news, tips and tricks for libraries, archives and museums.

 

In This Issue

Andornot News

Andornot's Latest Projects

Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Other News

Tags: newsletters

Richmond Archives Adds Name Origins Resource to Online Search

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, June 06, 2017 9:51 AM

I live in Richmond, part of the Metro Vancouver Regional District, and have an interest in local history, so I was particularly interested when Andornot was asked by the City of Richmond Archives to help with a project on the origins of Richmond place names. 

The City of Richmond Archives is a long time user of Inmagic DB/TextWorks for managing their collections, and were instrumental in developing the set of linked databases that became our Andornot Archives Starter Kit. Over the past couple years we’ve helped the Archives upgrade their Inmagic WebPublisher-based online search system, which is available at http://archives.richmond.ca/archives/descriptions/ 

The new Name Origins search, available at http://archives.richmond.ca/archives/places/ features almost 500 records (and growing) that document and describe the history of Richmond streets, roads, bridges, neighbourhoods, and other landmarks. It’s easy to search by keyword or by type of place, and whenever possible, a Google map of the named place is shown. This database is updated by the Friends of the Richmond Archives, volunteers with a passion for local history. Launching this new database online was made possible through the Richmond Canada 150 Community Celebration Grant Allocations. 

As I worked in the web search interface to the database, I couldn’t help but search for places in my neighbourhood and around Richmond, and become captivated by the history of them. Now community members can access this information 24-7 and learn the history behind the names of streets, areas, and landmarks in their community.

Contact Andornot for options for your Inmagic databases and for search engines and other software to make your collections accessible online.

Stanford's King Institute Launches New Documents Search Engine

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, May 11, 2017 1:03 PM

Last year, Andornot had the pleasure of working with the King Institute at Stanford University on their archival database of tens of thousands of speeches, sermons, letters, and other documents by and about Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Known as OKRA (Online King Records Access), the database includes descriptive information as well as holdings details for these resources held at repositories all over the United States. 

In that first project, we conducted a major rebuild of their DB/TextWorks-based databases to make it more usable by staff and students at the Institute.

This year, we were able to upgrade the web-based search interface for this resource with one built from our Andornot Discovery Interface

The new search interface is available at http://okra.stanford.edu and offers researchers features that will greatly help their work, such as:

  • type-ahead suggestions of names, places and topics as a user starts a search;
  • spelling corrections and search suggestions;
  • a sophisticated search engine that presents the most relevant results first (with an option to re-sort by title or date);
  • facets to easily refine a search by name, place, topic, date and other aspects of the data;
  • handy tools for saving and bookmarking records, emailing them, or sharing them on social media; and
  • an advanced search form for constructing highly specific searches, or for simply browsing all available names, topics, places and other key indexes of the data.

The new search engine adopts the same layout and design as the main King Institute website, for a seamless transition between the two.

Contact Andornot for data management and search solutions similar to this one.

Introducing Digital History Hub: Web Hosting for Cultural Collections

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, May 05, 2017 11:03 AM

Visit Digital History Hub

Need a quick and easy way to showcase a collection of photos, or a portal for an in-depth online exhibit? 

Digital History Hub lets you do both!

You can quickly build a searchable repository of archival records, artifacts, photos, oral history recordings, videos, historic documents, and more.

  • Ideal for archives, museums, historical societies and libraries.
  • Powered by the popular Omeka system.
  • Easy to use on your own, or with help from Andornot.
  • Hosted in Canada.

 

Digital History Hub is Andornot's new hosting platform specially created for historical collections.

Digital History Hub uses Omeka, a popular, open-source web application used around the world to manage and search cultural collections. It's easy to use, with a wide range of features built-in and available as add-ons. Digital History Hub is fully hosted and supported, so there's nothing for you to install or configure. We'll create an Omeka site just for you, and you can get started creating collections and exhibits!

Visit www.digitalhistoryhub.com to learn more about the features available, pricing, and how you can get started putting your local history online.

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