HomeSearch Guidelines

Search Guidelines

Omeka terms: Omeka uses three main terms for its organization: collection, item, and file. To prevent confusion, there is an explanation of each below:

  • The first grouping is called Collections. These are the largest groupings of photos, and the broadest. Collections are things like “DC Bridges” within which you will find more specific groupings.
  • These more specific groupings are called Items, and they are contained within Collections. Items are things like “Theodore Roosevelt Bridge” which contains all the photographs of that bridge and which is a part of the “DC Bridges” collection. Within Items are the individual photographs.
  • The individual photographs are called Files. Files are contained within Items.

All three levels have metadata attached to them. Most year and rights metadata appears on the File level.

When you click on a grouping of photos (an Item) you will be able to click through everything in that item. To enlarge the photo and continue clicking through, click on the icon on the bottom left-hand side next to the photo number rather than clicking on the photo itself, which causes a zoom effect. 

Accessing metadata for individual photographs: If you want to see the metadata for individual photos (known as Files) you’ll need to use the search box. Click the magnifying glass in the right hand corner, which will pull up a drop down search menu. Under “search only these record types” unclick everything but “file.” Individual photo files will then pop up, and if you click on the photo the associated data will appear for that specific photo. If you access files through their larger items, you’ll only be able to see the item metadata and not the metadata for individual photos.  If you do “Browse collections” or “browse items” you’ll also only be able to see the collection and item level data, and not the file data.

Browse Items Feature: If you want to search more specifically in this feature, you can click "Search Items" which will show you an advanced search with a number of filters to narrow results down. 

Tags: Omeka only allows for tagging at the Item level. So if you click on a tag, Items will pop up. You can also browse by tag in the "Browse Items" section. 

Some Search Box Tips: The search function on the site has a tendency to turn up high numbers of results. Here are a few tips to circumvent that: 

  • Hit "boolean" instead of "keyword"
  • Then type in whatever you're searching for and put parentheses around it. For example "K Street" then hit the magnifying glass to search
  • This should lower the amount of hits. If you want to search by collection, item, or file individually, uncheck the others. If you'd like to search for all three, leave them all checked. 
  • If you're searching for something like "K Street" you will find photographs across the website. Some K Street photos you'll simply find in the "K Street" item. You will also find K Street photos in other items like "Hurricane Agnes" where K Street is a subject in the photo but not the main focus.
  •  You can also search the tags for photos of K Street.