Getty Foundation Funds Omeka for Art Historians

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (RRCHNM) is pleased to announce the development of Omeka for Art Historians, supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Digital Art History initiative.

Drawing heavily upon the needs articulated by art historians at last summer’s Rebuilding the Portfolio summer institute held at RRCHNM, also funded by the Getty, we identified some key shortcomings of existing Omeka themes and plugins to serve the needs of this audience.

To address these needs, we want to offer art historians a new way to challenge their students and to engage online audiences with art collections by designing Omeka themes and plugins, and writing workflow case studies. To prioritize these needs, RRCHNM will convene a working group of art historians to shape theme development, paying particular attention to building templates that enable analysis and comparison of objects, contextualization of objects alongside historical materials.

Project Director Sheila Brennan will work closely with Kimon Keramidas of New York University, Michele Greet of Mason, and the Getty Foundation staff to select a working group that will convene at the College Art Association Conference in 2016.

This project builds on the successful Omeka software, an easy-to-use, open-source, web-publishing suite. Omeka has been widely adopted by institutions in the cultural heritage sector and university libraries. Hundreds of museums, libraries, and archives use the program as a content management system and web publishing platform to display standards-based collections data and online exhibits. An increasing number of upper-level and graduate courses in literature and history incorporate Omeka in student assignments, yet its use in art history and material cultural courses is far less common.

We look forward to starting the project in October 2015.

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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