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Student Curated Digital Exhibits

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

Top Technical Tips/Best Practices

  • Save changes at every step in the editing process! If you have made multiple changes (for example, editing a caption, then adding a link), Omeka may not save your changes unless you have saved after each change you make. So, make one change at a time, then save.

  • You can double check your work, including whether your changes were saved, by clicking the blue “View Public Page” button from the webpage you are working from. This will open up a preview of what your viewers will see when your exhibit is published in a new tab/window. 

  • Keep this preview tab open as you work. You can review subsequent edits by saving them from your working window, and refreshing the public preview each time you click “save changes.” 

  • For PDFs, rather than linking to the item in Omeka (Omeka will default to this), link to the item in the digital collections. See the “Editing tips” section of Step 5_Adding an Exhibit to Omeka for guidance on how to do this.

Tips for Writing Exhibit Labels

Introductory text (about 200 words)-- this text appears on your exhibit landing page, and should give viewers unfamiliar with your topic a taste of what they will see in your exhibit. 

Formatting suggestion: heading 4 in Omeka 

Omeka introductory text

Thematic text (about 100 words)-- these labels will provide the introduction to each theme in your exhibit (an exhibit “page” in Omeka). Use these labels to tell your viewer what the theme of the page is, why you’ve grouped these items together, and how this theme relates to your overall topic. What is the theme here?Group labels often have a header or title – if you can make the header catchy, funny, or provocative (but still accurate), you’ll get your audience’s attention.

Example: From an exhibit on foodways in Arkansas, one of the items in the nutrition-themed section was a nutritional graphic that showed butter and margarine as a food group. The thematic label title was: “Is Butter a Food Group? Health & Nutrition in Arkansas Food.” 

Formatting suggestion: heading 2 in Omeka for thematic section titles, heading 3 in Omeka for thematic text.

Screenshot of Omeka exhibit

Object text (50 words)-- briefly describe what the viewer is looking at 

Formatting suggestion: “paragraph” in Omeka.

Item captions (50 words)-- include the title of the item, creator, and date.

Formatting suggestion: “paragraph” in Omeka.

Tips for Revising and Rethinking

  • Always return to the central idea: Does this object/label/text support what I really want people to know?

  • Revise your title, central idea, and description if you need to. Your ideas may shift as you do more research.

  • If you are working with a group, check in frequently. Work on each object and each section should support the central idea, and the flow of the exhibition as a whole.