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HIS501 - Bloom

Introduction to Applied History

HIS501 - Introduction to Applied History - Bloom

This guide was designed to help you complete your interpretive group project about LGBTQ+ history on campus for American Archives Month. You will be using a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating online exhibits called Omeka. You will also be utilizing physical and digital collection materials from the Shippensburg University Archives.

The digital exhibit you will be creating in Omeka is called "Out of the Archives: LGBTQ+ Life at SU". This exhibit is part of the site shippensburguniversityarchives.omeka.net. After you are added to the Archives' Omeka site, you will gain access to edit the exhibit.

For assistance with Omeka, contact Professor Fic directly (cmfic@ship.edu), or use the "Schedule Appointment" link in blue under Professor Fic's profile photo in the left hand column to schedule a research consultation.

To visit the Archives to view collection materials, make an appointment by contacting Professor Fic, or Melanie Reed (mareed@ship.edu), Archives Technician.

Creating an Omeka Account

  1. Go to Omeka.net
  2. Click on "Pricing"
  3. Click on "Start your free Omeka trial"
  4. Sign up. The form will ask you for an email address - use your SU email.
  5. Click on "Add a Site"
  6. Name your subdomain with your username
  7. Title your site "test"
  8. Click on "Add a site"

Prof. Fic's Omeka Tutorials

Watch these tutorials to learn how to use Omeka to create a digital exhibit. Prof. Fic originally created these video tutorials for Dr. Dieterich-Ward's HIS201 class. Ignore HIS201 assignment-particular instructions. Focus on the how-to's of using Omeka and best practices for online exhibits.

Creating an Exhibit in Omeka

These guides from other universities provide helpful tips for creating online exhibits in Omeka.

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

  • Include group member names at the bottom of the parent page for your exhibit section
  • Alphabetical by last name

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