Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Omeka: A User's Guide: Collections

An introductory guide to building online exhibits with, the web-based version of Omeka


A collection in Omeka is a grouping of uploaded items by a topic, theme, etc. of your choosing. Effective collections can help your site users navigate the site, and show them additional perspectives on the topic and Items in your site.

Remember that Items can only belong to one collection at a time, so assign them strategically. You can switch items between collections at any time, and will likely do so as your site evolves and grows.


If you have questions after reading this guide, please contact Dan Tracy (, head of Scholarly Communication and Publishing.

If you are considering starting a journal or digital publication, the Illinois Open Publishing Network is here to help with consultations on digital publishing, open access, scholarly communication, and copyright.

Subject Guide

How to Create a Collection

To start building a collection, you first must have items uploaded onto your Omeka site (see the Items section of this guide for instructions).  After you have uploaded items, go to the Add Collections section of your Dashboard, and click on "Add a Collection":

The “Collections” page


After you click on "Add a Collection," the next page will feature text boxes where you will enter information about your collection in Dublin Core.  

On the “Add a Collection” prompt, the only tab is for Dublin Core metadata.


Status information is required: "Public" will determine if the collection is published on the site or stays hidden. "Featured" means that the collection will or will not be featured on the exhibit's front page, if the theme template has a Featured section.

The “Add Collection” button with options to make it public and featured.

When you've finished entering the metadata information, click on the green "Add Collection" button. You will then see a list of your created collections.  

Add Items to Collections

To add items to the collections, click on the Items tab to see the list of Items.  Select the checkboxes for the items that you wish to add to the Collection, and then click on "Edit."

Several pieces of media have been added to the Items page.


On the next screen, you can Batch Edit your items, including adding them to a collection all at once.

A dialogue box at the top shows that two Items have been selected. The user selects a new collection from the drop down box.

Remember, items can only be assigned to one collection, but you can edit the item's collection assignment at any time.