IPTC metadata on import

Hi there,

I need to import 20k jpeg files which have IPTC metadata embedded. I read a thread in the old Omeka forum that suggested that Omeka will extract the IPTC metadata on import but it did not seem to do that when I imported a sample 100 jpegs. (I used the Dropbox plugin for import)

Maybe this functionality has gone in the version of Omeka I am using, 2.3.1 or by any chance would it store the imported metadata somewhere in the database but just not display it on each item record for some reason.

Any help would be appreciated.

I guess I could extract the metadata outside of Omeka (in its current form within the Portfolio application) and import the metadata in a csv?



Files are their own records in Omeka, so you might see what you are looking for by clicking on the File Metadata link for the Item on the admin side.

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the reply. No, I had a look there and all is empty I’m afraid.


Do you have an example file that you can upload or link to?

Sure. Can I upload it somewhere that you can examine it?

Can you upload it here? There’s an “Upload” button on the post toolbar.

Sure, here is a sample

I tested out a non-stripped version of the image above (it seems Discourse automatically removes some or all embedded metadata in images) and Omeka correctly extracted the embedded metadata and showed it in the sidebar.

Do you have the “exif” PHP extension installed? (You can check on the System Information page linked from the bottom of every admin page if you’re not sure)

Hi John,

I do indeed have the exif extention installed: apache2handler, bcmath, bz2, calendar, Core, ctype, date, dba, dom, ereg, exif, fileinfo, filter, ftp, gettext, hash,

How do I go about getting a non-stripped version of the image and importing those? I’m not familiar with Discource at all.



I’m sorry, I was just referring to the copy of the image you uploaded here: the forum gets rid of the embedded metadata. That doesn’t have any relevance to your uses of the images, it was just about me needing to get a copy in another way to check.

You said you looked at the file metadata page and didn’t see anything. Did you check the right-hand sidebar on that page when you looked at it? The embedded metadata is just treated as “extra” information and appears in the sidebar rather than as main content like “normal” metadata in Omeka does.


Thanks for you patience. I must be missing something here.

For the avoidance of doubt I will upload the Edit Item page for an Item

And just to be sure here is the Public Page


The info is on the separate File page. On the show page for the item, on the admin side, look in the sidebar on the right for a section called File Metadata. There should be links there that will take you to the File page. There, you should see the info

Hi Patrick,

I see it now, that’s great. All of the metadata came over.

Castlebar Walking Festival, June 1973.
Liam Lyons
Castlebar Walking Festival, June 1973. Danish walker.
Castlebar Walking Festival
Liam Lyons

Is there a way that I can get that metadata to display on the Public interface and be searchable?



You have a couple of options. You could edit your theme to show data from the embedded metadata on the files/show or items/show page. That wouldn’t get that stuff to come up in searches, though.

For searching, you could write a plugin to add the data from the embedded metadata into the sitewide search information, which would get it to come up on the main simple search.

Or, you could (also with a plugin probably) pull the embedded metadata over into Dublin Core or other “normal” metadata fields for each File or Item. Then the data would be displayed like any other metadata and would also be searchable.

Thanks for all the help John. I managed to extract the IPTC metadata into a csv file and loaded the items again with the metadata and it all ran fine. I couldn’t work out how to separate the metadata from the items though. I had the items loaded already via the dropbox plugin and hoped to be able to load the metadata and match the items somehow but couldn’t work that bit out. anyway, all items and metadata loaded now and working fine.