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HIST 3468: Public History

A helpful guide to the resources needed to create your Omeka exhibit

Creating Omeka Exhibits

Need some extra help figuring out Omeka? Whether you have a quick question, or would like to schedule a one-on-one Zoom session to go over the details, we are happy to help! Email special collections librarian Colleen Hoelscher ( with your questions or to set up an appointment. 

Digital Storytelling Tools

You can add some pizazz to your Omeka exhibit with digital storytelling tools, such as timelines, storymaps, and more. 

Copyright Guidelines

It is essential that items used in Coates Library Omeka exhibits are in full compliance with United States copyright law. Any material that is found to not be in compliance will be immediately removed by library staff.

What you can use:

  • Items in the public domain (generally, published in the United States before 1923 or published by the government). For questions about determining public domain status of materials published outside the US, please contact a librarian.
  • Items where Trinity University owns the copyright. In most cases, Trinity obtains the intellectual property rights of materials that are given by their creators to the Archives. Items created by third parties are not included in this copyright transfer.
    • Example: In the Ursula Lauderdale Papers, any writings by Lauderdale were her intellectual property; because she had no heirs and Trinity has the physical possession of these items, we can claim copyright ownership. However, an archival collection could include magazines, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, etc. The copyright of these items remains with the original creator/publisher, and they cannot be reproduced without permission.
  • Items where another individual or corporation owns the copyright, but has granted permission in writing to have it reproduced on the library website.
    • Example: An art gallery may have photographs of a painting by Lauderdale. You could contact them and request permission to reproduce the images with credit. 

Copyright is tricky, and you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Contact your librarian ( or ask for help at the library reference desk if you need assistance determining the copyright status of material you wish to use.

Sample Exhibits

Need inspiration? Check out these Omeka exhibits that other scholars have created: 

The Playing Field: The Trinity University Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics History Project - Trinity University

Ursula Lauderdale: Pioneering Texas Artist - Trinity University

David Matias: Poet, Playwright, Activist - Trinity University

Claude & ZerNona Black - Trinity University

The Life and Work of Architect William Ward Watkin - Rice University

No More Invisible Women - Lesbian Herstory Archives

Celebrating Hyde Park - City of Boston Archives

Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal - Digital Public Library of America

Appalachian Dulcimer Archive - Vanderbilt University