The end is near and I am imagining that the snow I am walking through is really just the crunch of Christmas cookies in my mouth. But before the bells of Christmas ring, some things need to be finished up.
I have continued working on building an Omeka site for the independent project and wanted to update everyone on the process. In an earlier post, I had mentioned some of the issues I faced when I first began the project. New ones have since come out from hiding.
After I had uploaded some items onto Omeka, I wanted to switch up the appearance of the site. The standard theme of the free trial is called Berlin and there is only one other option to choose from so I switched my theme. I quickly checked out the new theme and found that some of my items were no populating the search results when they should have. After some frustration, I decided to switch the theme back to Berlin and voila, everything was fixed. This tells me that the Omeka team still has some glitches they need to figure out.
I also decided to add some other pages to my website to make the site a little more user-friendly in describing what the site really is. I added two tabs using a plug-in called Simple Pages. Using this plug-in was relatively easy but trying to format text and images seemed more difficult than it needed to be as I had to go back and forth between the administration page and the user page to ensure that the formatting was correct. I have also installed the Exhibit Builder plug-in, but I am waiting to create an exhibit once more items can be uploaded on the website in order to make the content of the exhibit more diverse and engaging.
As of now, I have a meeting set up with the library director to transfer the administration of the site to the library and to link the website to the library’s homepage for accessibility and visibility. I still want to be involved in helping build the website and creating exhibits and am looking forward to when the library can upgrade to an Omeka package.
My thinking about this website has changed since I first began the project. I first thought that Omeka was an archival tool to be used by archives as sort of a database. After completing a small part of this project, I could never have been more wrong. If I’m going to describe it as anything, it’s more like a digital museum that has collections and special exhibits. After realizing this, I wanted to change the name and subdomain of my site as it was called Cashton Archives. I didn’t want users to think that could expect the same experience using an archival database, so I decided to change the name to Cashton Collections. It rolls off the tongue better anyway, don’t you think? I was easily able to change all of the text in the site, but I was not able to change the subdomain. After some Googling (God bless the internet), I found that the only way to change your subdomain was to actually contact the Omeka team. I filled out the contact form and sent in my request. I got a response the next day (in their defense I sent the form in on Sunday, so they were operating within business hours) and my subdomain was changed instantly.
I hope that this website has the resources to continue after this semester and that it will be incorporated into the community as a space to go to learn about Cashton’s heritage.