Omeka Elements

This page covers Omeka features that Digital Archive administrators commonly need to work with. See the Omeka Classic User Manual for complete documentation on Omeka.

Add a new element

An Omeka installation comes with a predefined set of elements that someone chose to contain all the types of metadata needed for items in your collection. At the Omeka level, an element is a container for a metadata value. In the Digital Archive, elements are referred to as fields, such as Title, Type, or Subject. Thus, the elements in your Omeka installation correspond to the metadata fields associated with items in your collection.

However, from time to time you may find that you need a new element to store metadata that you were not previously recording.

Follow these steps to add a new element to your Digital Archive installation.

  • Login to Omeka as an administrator
  • Click Item Types in Omeka's left admin menu
  • Click the Edit link below the organization's Item Type name
  • On the Edit Item page, follow these steps to add an element:
    1. Choose the New radio button at the bottom of the page
    2. Click the Add Element button to expose element name and description fields
    3. Type the Element Name and leave the description blank
    4. Repeat from Step 2 until done
  • When done adding elements, click the Save Changes button
  • Position the new element among existing elements

Rename an element

Omeka does not provide a way to rename an element. If you mistype the name when creating a new element, you can simply delete it and create a new one with the correct name; however, if the element already exists and there are items containing metadata for the element, the only option is to go into the MySQL database and edit the omeka_elements table. Find the element in the table and then change its name in the name column. When you go back into Omeka, the element will appear with its new name. This can be done using MySQL Workbench. If you don't have access to your MySQL database, ask your Digital Archive developer to rename the element for you.

You must rebuild your site's Elasticsearch indexes after renaming an element If you don't, the old element name will appear on item pages, but search results will still show the new name.

Arrange element order

You can control the order in which elements (i.e., your metatdata fields) appear when you are editing an item. When editing, the Dublin Core elements appear first, followed by the other elements. You arrange the order within each of these two groups as explained below.

Dublin Core elements

  • Login to Omeka as an administrator
  • Click Settings in the top menu bar
  • Click Elements Sets in the Settings page menu bar
  • Click the Edit link under Dublin Core
  • Drag the elements into the desired order
  • Click the Save Changes button

Below is the order AvantLogic recommends for Dublin Core elements


Other elements

  • Login to Omeka as an administrator
  • Click Item Types in the left menu
  • Click the Edit link below the organization's Item Type name
  • Drag the elements into the desired order
  • Click the Save Changes button

Make an other element appear with Dublin Core elements

Normally Dublin Core elements appear in a group on the Edit Item page above a group of other elements. It is possible however to show an other element within the Dublin Core group, for example to have an Accession # element appear above or below the Identifier element. You can't do this yourself, so ask your Digital Archive administrator to do it for you by following these steps:

  • In the omeka_elements table, change the other element's element_set_id from 3 to 1.
  • Remove the other element from the Item Types (see Other elements section above).
  • Position the element within the Dublin Core element set (see Dublin Core elements section above).