Home > Getting Started

Getting Started

Welcome to Exhibits UofT!

This page will give you some guidelines on using this service, answer some FAQs, and offer some tips and tricks.

For tutorials and other Omeka documentation, visit omeka.org. For for more detailed serice policies, please visit the Service Policy page.

If you're still stuck, use the contact us form to get in touch with us.

Getting an Account

Before you're able to do anything in Exhibits, you'll need to get an account. If you're part of a department or group that will be creating an exhibit, we ask that you create a communal account to facilitate collaboration and keep the number of users managable.

Visit contact us and provide the following pieces of information:

  1. Your name  
  2. Your department (if relevant)
  3. Your email address

We'll then create a user account for you or your department. You'll receive an email to the provided email address asking you to create a password. Don't worry! If responsibility for your exhibits account changes, you can assign a new email to the same communal account. All you have to do is contact us.

2. Make Your Collection

 We ask that everyone using Exhibits create a collection and put their items in that collection. (For instructions on creating collections, go here.) This step helps keep everything tidy for everyone and will make it easier for you to find your items.

3. Add items

For instructions on how to create items, go here

This step is optional. If you want to use html to import images to an exhibit or create a text-based exhibit, there's no need to create items. How you use Exhibits is up to you!

Think of items as "bundles" that can include metadata (descriptive information such as "title" and "creator"); a file or files; geographical information; and tags. None of these pieces is required! You can have an item that is just metadata. Or an item that is just an image file. It's up to you. We do, however, recommend describing items enough to make them findable. 

4. Make Your Exhibit

You can use the Exhibit Builder plugin to arrange your items and text into a series of webpages. For instructions on using Exhibit Builder go here. Feel free to experiment--the only irreversible act in Exhibits is deletion.

We recommend using the UTL-generic theme, which was intended to be simple and clean and in-line with the UTL website. You can personalize your exhibit by adding logo and header images. 

5. Publish Your Exhibit

When you feel happy with what you've created in Exhibits and would like to publish your items and Exhibit on the web publicly you need to take two steps. 

  1. Contact Exhibits administrators through the Contact Us form and tell us what items you'd like to make public and what collection these items are in. 
  2. Go to your exhibit page and in the upper right corner click the "Public" radio button.

All done! Anyone on the Web can now see your exhibit! 

FAQs

Is Exhibits the right platform for me?

Exhibits is intended for creating "exhibits," a term we use broadly to designate all kinds of outreach and communication materials. You might be making a digital companion to a physical exhibit; showcasing research or library materials by adding context; or assembling a simple website. (Of course, your exhibit may fall outside of these use cases--we encourage experimentation!)

Exhibits is not a digital preservation service. Nor does it serve as a catalogue. If you require help with either of these activities, contact us, and we'll forward your inquiry to the appropriate group.


What is Dublin Core? How am I supposed to input metadata? Are there any rules about what I should input? 

Dublin Core is a metadata standard (a set of pieces of information used to describe an object) that was developed in Dublin, Ohio (hence the name) by OCLC. It's called the "core" because they're 15 elements that are meant to generically describe many types of objects. 

Don't feel intimidated by Dublin Core! if you have any questions reach out to us but also, remember a couple of things: Exhibits isn't serving as a catalogue, so if you are trying to create persistent catalogue records, reach out to us and we can help you. In fact, if you're worried about metadata or description at all: contact us.

Because we want Exhibits UofT to be easy to use and since this service doesn't operate as a catalogue, there are no minimum requirements for metadata. We recommend that you at least include enough information for your own purposes (i.e. enough to be able to identify an item). Also remember that when exhibit visitors click on an item, they will be taken to an "item display page" that includes the metadata. Consequently you may want to include more information about the item. If you have any questions about metadata and discoverability feel free to contact us

How long will my items / collection / exhibit be on Exhibits?

At University of Toronto Libraries, we're committed to retaining materials that have scholarly or historical value.