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Omeka Commons: Preserving and Sharing Our Dispersed Digital Commonwealth

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Omeka Commons: Preserving and Sharing Our Dispersed Digital Commonwealth

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Omeka Commons: Preserving and Sharing Our Dispersed Digital Commonwealth


Large collecting institutions and their foundation backers have made good progress in recent years digitizing and making collections available online. Private corporations such as Thompson and Google have also done extensive work in this area. As impressive as these large-scale efforts are, materials found in large archives represent just a fraction of the unique archival materials in institutional holdings. Far greater—in numbers and even richness—are the combined collections found in small museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies around the world.
To fund each of these institutions individually to mount their collections online is not feasible. he answer is to provide a low-barrier, low-cost, standards-based means for local institutions and individuals to mount their own online collections and a similarly low-barrier means for them to voluntarily share those materials for central preservation and discovery. In partnership with the Internet Archive, the Center for History and New Media aims to meet this remaining challenge by networking the thousands of local websites using Omeka and aggregating their contents into a single, permanent, open access repository: Omeka Commons.

Start Date


End Date


Proposal Co-Authors

Tom Scheinfeldt
Sharon Leon


Dan Cohen


Sheila Brennan
Jeremy Boggs

Web Designer(s)

Jeremy Boggs
Kim Nguyen


Patrick Murray-John

Staff Members

Jim Safley
Raymond Yee


Sheila Brennan


Kris Kelly
Linda Frueh


1) Omeka Commons will provide long-term digital preservation for cultural heritage institutions, raise visibility, and maintain local control over digital assets.
2) Omeka Commons will improve discovery for researchers, increase access to cultural heritage collections, and encourage collaboration.


Institute of Museum and Library Services

Funding Amount



Internet Archive


Whiteboard image 1
Whiteboard image 2



“Omeka Commons: Preserving and Sharing Our Dispersed Digital Commonwealth,” RRCHNM20, accessed April 20, 2024, https://20.rrchnm.org/items/show/213.

Item Relations

This Item foaf:fundedBy Item: Institute of Museum and Library Services
This Item Partner Item: Internet Archive
This Item Staff Item: Tom Scheinfeldt
This Item Staff Item: Sharon Leon
This Item Staff Item: Dan Cohen
This Item Staff Item: Sheila Brennan
This Item Staff Item: Jeremy Boggs
This Item Staff Item: Jim Safley
This Item Staff Item: Raymond Yee