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Student Curated Digital Exhibits

This guide includes information for students curating digital exhibits using Special Collections materials

About this guide

This guide provides students and faculty at the University of Arkansas with guidance on using Omeka, a digital exhibit platform, to create exhibits as part of coursework or class assignments. The information in this guide is based on the features available through the Special Collections paid subscription to Omeka.


If you are interested in creating a digital exhibit as part of your coursework, or as a component of a thesis or dissertation, please contact Research & Educational Services Archivist, Kara Flynn at

What is a digital exhibit?

Digital exhibits share some features in common with a traditional physical exhibit that you might see in a museum-- both digital and physical exhibits aim to present historical objects and information and put items in conversation with one another, in the light of a particular argument or theme. However, digital exhibits do this in a web-based environment, and navigating a digital environment is not always as straightforward as walking through a physical exhibit, so it is important to consider how a viewer of your digital exhibit will experience and navigate their way through the content you create.

Tips for getting started

  • Develop the main idea of your exhibit.What is the big idea you want to communicate to the viewers?

  • Decide on the central themes of the exhibit, and start thinking about the “flow” of the exhibit. What do viewers really need to know?

  • Decide what objects to include.What stories do they tell? Why are they interesting? How do they contribute to the central idea?

  • Develop the exhibition narrative.Everything in the exhibit should contribute to the story you’re sharing with your audience. How do your items contribute to your main idea and central themes? 

Selecting materials for inclusion

  • Browse several publications, sites, books and search broadly at first. In other words, don't limit yourself to searching for specific images or objects right away.

  • Spend time getting to know the Digital Collections at the link below. Experiment searching all collections and with exploring the items within a collection.

  • Think about what story each item tells. How will they each contribute to your central themes? Aim to select at least 3 items for each of your themes.

For guidance on navigating the digital collections see the following tutorials: