What's the best way to group photos?

I thought creating different Collections would be the best way, but then I discovered that I was removing photos from one Collection when I added them to another Collection.

Each Item can only be in one Collection.

You can group items with tags, or with a combination of using the Simple Vocabulary plugin to create a controlled vocab list in a property input and the Search by Metadata plugin to make those values into links.

As Sharon said, you might use multiple tags for a single Item (f.i.: an elephant could have “animals”, “mammals”, “Africa”, “Asia”, “big ears” etc.). Then, you might also create specific summary pages (with Simple Pages plugin, f.i.), or redesign the “Browse By Tags” page of your theme, to link to all those tags.

Hi @sharonmleon and @DanieleB ,

What are Collections best used for if only one item can belong to one Collection?

I just tried adding Tags. They’re so invasive, showing up boldly in the Browse Items list. Why would adding Tags be better than adding Subjects? I used the Advanced Search to create links for both Tags and Subjects (because your method to create links is too difficult for me). I like that the Subjects link is slightly shorter…



I really like how short the Collections link is.

The data model for Omeka Classic is based on the organizational practices of physical collections that have been digitized. In those cases, each item can only reside in one collection.

Hi @sharonmleon and @DanieleB, I’m confused about your advice on how to link to a group of photos, if I’m not using Collections. You said Step 1 is to add Tags. What’s the best next step?..

  1. Create summary pages with with Simple Pages?
  2. Redesign the “Browse By Tags” page?
  3. Use a Search by Metadata plugin?

Since Tags are already clickable, I would not use the Search by Metadata plugin here.
I would personally create a specific page with Simple Pages, it seems to me it would be more easily customizable + you could keep the original Browse By Tag page. But I guess you really need to decide what’s better for your project

Using Search by Metadata requires developing and implementing a Simple Vocab list with the Subject field or something like that. The advantage there is that you might avoid what you don’t like about the aesthetic characteristics of Tags.

Hi @DanieleB and @SharonLeon , I added a Term in Simple Vocab, but I couldn’t figure out how to create a link to my Term.

Once create and implement the simple vocab you and either use the advanced search to search for the property containing that term and use the URL from the results page to add a page to the navigation, or you can implement the Search by Metadata plugin to make those plain-text terms into links in the individual item pages.

Hi @SharonLeon, I created the Simple Vocab Term “Love” in the Element field “Subject.” I can’t figure out how to do an Advanced Search for that.

If you use go to the search box on your admin interface and select the Advanced Search from the drop down menu, you’ll then get a search where you can set the property to Subject and select “contains” for your term. You will get a results page that should list all the items that have that term as subject.

If you go up to the URL for that page and you delete the /admin/ section of the URL you’ll get that browse in a public page. You can then copy and add that URL to your navigation.

Hi @SharonLeon , isn’t that what I did initially in my example above? How does Simple Vocab get used in your solution?

Simple Vocab turns the terms into a drop down menu in the item creation interface. That prevents users from making mistakes of spelling and capitalization that would mess with the search.

Again, Simple Vocab is most useful in conjunction with the Search by Metadata plugin to make those terms in the item interface clickable for a user so that they get the browse results page that includes all the items that share that term.

Hi @SharonLeon , what I’m really looking for is a shorter link. Will using Search by Metadata provide that? This all seems like it’s getting too complicated for me. I may just go back to using Collections, and surrender to the limitation that I will only be able to “Collect” each photo once.

Nope. That’s the length of the link. Though of course, with standard HTML or adding a link to the Navigation you can make the words that are linked anything you want.

Hi @SharonLeon , can you please show me an example of an Omeka site that uses Simple Vocab in conjunction with the Search by Metadata plugin?

Here is a simple example from Histories of the National Mall.


It is an Event item that uses a Simple Vocab and Search by Metadata in conjunction with the Coverage field. The terms are items in a vocabulary and clicking on them brings up a browse of all of the items with a that same input in the coverage field.