Digital Collections and Exhibits

When it comes to online exhibits, it seems that Omeka offers the best way to display information and is highly recommended for museum professionals. Omeka provides various showcase websites as examples of some of the possibilities when using their services. Two of these sites are for Humboldt Redwoods Project and The Latina History Project. The layout of both sites is quite similar. There is a landing page with some basic information about the site and the organization that compiled it. On the landing page are tabs that lead to digital collections as well as other information about the site and specific subject matter. I particularly like the photographic slideshow on the Humboldt Redwoods Project landing page because I have an interest in photography and the photos give the visitor an idea of what the site is about. The landing page for The Latina History Project website, however, has one image and no photographs. Online exhibits need to draw the visitor in and entice them to stay and explore further, which is why it’s important to make digital exhibits as visually appealing as physical exhibits. It gives the visitor an idea of what they are about to see.

The accessibility of the content of both sites differs as well. The Latina History Project website is comprehensive in that it has digital collections and exhibits and items can also be browsed on their own. On the Humboldt Redwoods Project website, there are only exhibits; there is no overview of all the items that are part of the exhibits, which is not helpful when trying to assess whether a site can provide pertinent information. Although the searchability of the content varies, both sites have a fair amount of information describing the items in the collections and exhibits and are organized in a manner that makes sense and is easy to follow.

While Omeka provides a basic template for creating online exhibits, the creator still needs to ensure that their site is well-organized and appealing to visitors in order to be successful.

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