Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?
How I think about Omeka, CollectionBuilder, and Wax (the messy version)

How I think about Omeka, CollectionBuilder, and Wax

(the messy version)

Tl;dr

  • the more you move to spreadsheets, text editors, and the command line from applications with admin interfaces:
    • the more control you get!
    • the more work + thinking you need to put in to the workflow and how it will include your collaborators
  • sometimes this control is worth it, sometimes it isn't; it depends on your goals + resources.
  • minimal computing isn't about purity politics! it's a provocation to clarify your goals and consider alternative tools and methods to best suit the goals and resources you have.

Omeka

[lowest learning curve, lowest control]1 [lots of funding]

  • I want to make a digital collection.
  • I'm likely more interested in doing curatorial learning/labor than development, maintenance, or design learning/labor.
  • I have access to a LAMP stack and/or funding for hosting.
  • I want an easy entry point for students and collaborators to contribute prose and content.
  • I'm not interested in a bespoke design or way of rendering data OR I have a lot of funding to hire a PHP developer for this.
  • My project will have indefinite content updates.

CollectionBuilder

[medium learning curve, medium-high control depending on division of labor] [grant funding]

  • I want to make a digital collection.
  • I am likely concerned with maintenance and curatorial labor/learning a bit more than design and development learning/labor.
  • I am interested in library metadata and faceting.
  • I want my collection to be structured as data.
  • I'm more interested in students and collaborators learning about metadata and workflows than their ability to easily access an admin panel.
  • I don't have access to or don't want to rely on a LAMP stack.
  • The project will likely go through active development and content creation for a short period then slow down to minimal maintenance.

Wax

[highest learning curve, highest control depending on division of labor] [not currently funded]

  • I want to make a digital exhibition.
  • I want to make a lot of choices in my curatorial, development, maintenance, and design learning and labor.
  • I either (1) have a lot of the skills above, and want to put them to use in a sustainable way, or (2) am willing to learn the things above to realize my vision.
  • I want my collection to be structured as data.
  • I don't have access to or don't want to rely on a LAMP stack.
  • My collection might be legacy or enormous.
  • I'd either (1) like to have collaborators fill out a spreadsheet so I can get the project off the ground quickly and cheaply, or (2) help collaborators learn many fundamentals around curatorial, development, maintenance, and design work.
  • I'd like the freedom to make a bespoke exhibition and tailor my presentation and schema to my collection data; I want to do this while balancing sustainability and reuse.
  • I might be interested in IIIF
  • The project will likely go through active development and content creation for a short period then slow down to minimal maintenance.

1: By less control, I mean more time fighting against a system to make it do something different and/or steeper/more opinionated infrastructure requirements

@elotroalex
Copy link

elotroalex commented Dec 22, 2020

This is fantastic, @mnyrop. Thank you!

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment