This guide was designed to help you complete your driving tour project for the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum (CVRM). You will be using a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating online exhibits called Omeka.
For assistance with Omeka, contact Professor Fic directly (firstname.lastname@example.org), or use the "Schedule Appointment" link in blue under Professor Fic's profile photo in the left hand column to schedule a research consultation.
For questions regarding local railroad history sites, contact Dr. Tiffany Weaver (email@example.com), Museum Director of the CVRM.
The term "meta" comes from the Greek for "alongside" or "with". Over time, "meta" was also used to denote something transcendental, or beyond nature. "Meta-data", then, is "data about data", such as the contents of catalogs, inventories, etc. Since the 1990s, "metadata" denotes machine-readable descriptions of things, most commonly in the context of the Web. The structured descriptions of metadata help find relevant resources in the undifferentiated masses of data available online. Anything of interest can be described with metadata, from book collections to football leagues. Describing different types of resources requires different types of metadata and metadata standards.
In the mid 1990s Dublin Core started with the idea of "core metadata" for simple and generic description of electronic resources. An international, cross-disciplinary group of professionals from librarianship, computer science, text encoding and museum community, and other related fields of scholarship and practice developed such a core standard – the fifteen Dublin Core elements. But this was just the first steps – since then the World Wide Web has changed in some ways and has broken new ground on the way to a semantic web. Dublin Core followed this path developing further standards for metadata based on the World Wide Web Consortium's work on a generic data model for metadata, the Resource Description Framework (RDF). At the same time the scope of Dublin Core metadata was broadened from "electronic resources" to encompass, in principle, any object that can be identified, wether electronic, real-world, or conceptual, and particularly including resources of the sort named in the DCMI Type Vocabulary.
Your class will be creating a driving tour of the Cumberland Valley that highlights sites associated with local railroad history. Working in groups, you will prepare a written narrative as well as audio that is supported by artifacts and/or images related to the site you have chosen. These will come together in Omeka. Your class will use Omeka to create a page that outlines the driving tour route, including the textual narratives, audio recordings, artifacts, and images.
Need Help Recording and/or Editing Audio?
Potential Tour Sites
Adding & Describing Items in Omeka
The driving tour will be built around items from the CVRM collection, and other regional archival/museum collections. You must add and describe items before you design your section of the tour. Describe items using Dublin Core. Fill out as many fields as you can. At minimum, you must use these fields:
Files: Upload an image file to visually represent your item.
Map: Enter the address of your site to link the item to the map.
If your item is not from the CVRM collection, you must obtain written permission from the owner to include the item in Omeka for the driving tour.
The page will be comprised of blocks. There are 4 types of blocks:
You will be required to meet a minimum word count. Keep in mind that the work you put into this project should be equivalent to completing a graduate level paper. A portion of your time and energy will be spent learning to use a web-publishing platform, entering data, and designing layouts, so the content you create will not equal the length of a graduate paper. However, you are expected to conduct thorough historical research, as you would for any term paper. Your writing will be professional yet accessible to a general audience.
Details are forthcoming; this guide will be updated to reflect any changes to project requirements.
Courtesy of Cumberland County Historical Society.