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HIS201 - Dieterich-Ward

Early History of the U.S.

HIS201 - Early History of the US - Dieterich-Ward

This guide was designed to help you complete your online exhibit in Omeka. For additional assistance, contact Christy Fic,



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 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.

Exhibit Components

Adding & Describing Items

Your exhibit will be built around an item from the SU Fashion Archives & Museum collection. You must add and describe items before you design your exhibit. Describe items using Dublin Core. Fill out as many fields as you can. At minimum, you must use these fields:

  • Title
  • Subject
  • Description
  • Creator
  • Date
  • Format
  • Type
  • Coverage

Adding Pages

You will be contributing to a class exhibit. Your primary focus will be on a single page.

Adding Blocks

Your page will be comprised of blocks. There are several types:

  • file with text
  • gallery
  • text
  • file
  • editorial block (ignore this)
  • geolocation map

Omeka Style Guide

Heading Style

  • Use Heading 2
  • Headings should be left-aligned
  • Use title case capitalization


  • Captions should be center-aligned
  • Length: 50 words max.
  • Description, date.
    Courtesy of…
  • Example:
    • Train and superintendent’s mansion at Pine Grove Iron Works, 1875.

Courtesy of Cumberland County Historical Society.


  • All images should be cropped (scanner background is not visible)
  • Images should accompany relevant text
  • Images that accompany text should be left- or right-aligned
  • Stand-alone images should be center-aligned


  • All text should be left-justified
  • Do not indent paragraphs

Author Attribution

  • Names will be listed alphabetically by last name at the bottom of the driving tour landing page

Grandchild Pages

  • Use sparingly for additional specific information not necessary for the main narrative.
  • Open in new tab/popup

Writing for a General Audience

  • Avoid disciplinary jargon
    • Replace unnecessary jargon with a simpler phrase or word
    • If you can't replace it, define the term (for people who don't have a background in your discipline)
  • Write simply, concisely, and directly
  • Don't be overly wordy
  • Use active voice
  • Write positively
  • Titles and/or headings should be short, yet highlight what is unique or important about that section
  • Write a chronological narrative
  • Your introduction should hook your reader - Open with a relevant quotation, question, story, problem, declarative statement, or illustration that encapsulates what you want to say about that subject
    • Provide the reader with enough context and background so that they understand the main argument and importance of the research
  • Provide lots of examples to make abstract concepts concrete; use anecdotes or descriptive imagery
  • Avoid charts and tables that would be difficult for a non-expert to interpret