The Lyon Archive

Why Omeka?

"Omeka" is a Swahili word meaning, “to display or lay our wares.” It’s also the name of the publishing platform used in the creation of The Lyon Archive.

The Omeka publishing platform was created in 2006 by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Like it’s well-known cousin, WordPress, Omeka is a publishing platform that can be used to create digital exhibits, to preserve digital objects, or to engage with the public by sharing and presenting important cultural materials. Yet, unlike other web platforms, Omeka was designed specifically to help archivists, museum and library professionals, editors, and academics display content using a selection of plugins designed with our work in mind. Those plugins enable the creation of visualizations, such as timelines, maps, and multimedia exhibits, that draw from and create new knowledge about the content we study.     

In a nutshell, Omeka is an easy-to-use publishing platform adopted widely by libraries, archives, scholars, historical societies, museums, students, and the public to create online digital collections, editions, archives, and interpretations of such materials. 

I've chosen Omeka because it offers an affordable and accessible tool for the creation and preservation of multimedia projects. Omeka's use of Dublin Core enables me to teach students about the importance of metadata. And the fact that Omeka is widely adopted by public humanities organizations allows me to introduce students to platforms they will likely encounter during visits to digital libraries, museum and heritage sites, or public engagement projects.