Library of Congress Funds Omeka + Neatline Project

The Library of Congress has awarded $665,248 in funding to the Omeka + Neatline project.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia Library and the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University are pleased to announce a collaborative "Omeka + Neatline" initiative, supported by $665,248 in funding from the Library of Congress.

The Omeka + Neatline project's goal is to enable scholars, students, and library and museum professionals to create geospatial and temporal visualizations of archival collections using a Neatline toolset within CHNM's popular, open source Omeka exhibition platform. Neatline, a "contribution to interpretive humanities scholarship in the visual vernacular," is a project of the UVa Library Scholars' Lab, originally bolstered by a Start-Up Grant from the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Omeka is an award-winning web-publishing platform for the display of cultural heritage and scholarly collections and exhibits, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

This two-year initiative will allow CHNM and the Scholars' Lab to expand and regularize a partnership that developed informally between the two centers over the course of the past year. Collaboration has already resulted in improvements to the core functionality of Omeka by CHNM and has led the Scholars' Lab to produce a number of prototype plugins making Omeka a more attractive and viable option for scholarly partnerships with larger libraries and cultural heritage institutions. These include: improved data import (including EAD, a common archival standard); Solr-powered searching and browsing; and Fedora-based repository services. Further development will improve existing plugins, add preservation workflows, and refine the Neatline toolset for integration and sophisticated editing and scholarly annotation of historical maps, GIS layers, and timelines. Enhancements to Omeka's core APIs, improved documentation, regular "point" releases, and a new Exhibit Builder will strengthen Omeka's already large and robust user and developer communities.

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