Omeka S (1.0) Beta Release

Omeka SThe Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University is pleased to announce the public beta release of Omeka S (1.0) <http://omeka.org/s/>, the next-generation, open source web-publishing platform that is fully integrated into the scholarly communications ecosystem and designed to serve the needs of medium to large institutional users who wish to launch, monitor, and upgrade many sites from a single installation.

Though Omeka S is a completely new software package, it shares the same goals and principles of Omeka Classic that users have come to love: a commitment to cost-effective deployment and design, an intuitive user interface, open access to data and resources, and interoperability through standardized data.

Created with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Omeka S is engineered to ease the burdens of administrators who want to make it possible for their end-user communities to easily build their own sites that showcase digital cultural heritage materials.

  • Colleges and universities that want to encourage their faculty and students to develop online publications that make use of special collections and digitized materials will find Omeka S
  • Museums and historical societies that would like to create a digital exhibit to accompany the many physical exhibits and installations at their institutions can turn to Omeka S as way to efficiently administer that digital work and reuse digitized collections.
  • Individual researchers interested in publishing linked open data will find Omeka S a reliable solution for creating and maintaining research collections, and for publishing new scholarship.

While the Items remain the core of Omeka S, the new software is designed to capitalize on linked data standards for item description. Omeka S uses JavaScript Object Notation-Linked Data (JSON-LD) as its native data format and ships with popular RDF vocabularies, which make it possible to enmesh Omeka S in the semantic web and to connect to aggregators like the Digital Public Library of America.

After users create and describe their items or import materials from a range of external repositories for access in a shared pool of items, Omeka S allows them to create and publish individual sites. Sites are built by creating pages, selecting from a range of layout blocks for those pages, and attaching items or media from the pool of resources selected for use with the site. As Modules extend Omeka S functionality, they can also add page layout blocks, such as a map or a collecting form. Site Themes can be customized in a number of ways, including with the addition of a logo and the selection of colors for styling elements.

Developers will appreciate that Omeka S’s Read/Write REST API enables all of the major software actions, such as the creation of users, items, item sets, and sites. This infrastructure makes it possible to easily create modules that extend Omeka S’s core capacities.

Omeka S users will find extensive documentation written for developers <https://github.com/omeka/omeka-s-developer> and end users <https://github.com/omeka/omeka-s-enduser> to guide them in learning more about working with the software.

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About Sharon Leon

Sharon M. Leon is the Director of Public Projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and Associate Professor of History at George Mason University. Leon received her bachelors of arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University in 1997, and her doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2004. Her first book, An Image of God: the Catholic Struggle with Eugenics, was published by University of Chicago Press (May 2013). Her work has appeared in Church History, the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, the Public Historian, and a number of edited collections. She is currently doing research on the Catholic Left in the United States after Vatican II. At RRCHNM, Leon oversees collaborations with library, museum, and archive partners from around the country. She directs the Center's digital exhibit and archiving projects, as well as research and tool development for public history, including Omeka and Scripto. Finally, Leon writes and presents on using technology to improve the teaching and learning of historical thinking skills.

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