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Online Exhibitions: FAQs

Information for Yale Library staff and other Yale community members interested in creating online exhibitions.


Q: Who can create an online exhibition?

A: Yale University student or faculty member can create an online exhibition with the sponsorship of a library department. Any Yale University Library (YUL) staff member can curate an online exhibition with approval from their department.

Q: What is the relationship of physical exhibitions to online exhibitions?

A: Online exhibitions are created independent of physical exhibitions, although many online exhibitions are based on physical exhibitions. Online-only exhibitions are encouraged! The physical exhibitions program at YUL operates separately from the online exhibitions program, although the groups often liaise. If you are interested in curating an exhibition in Sterling Memorial Library, please review the SML Exhibits Committee's guide.

For physical exhibitions in other libraries in the Yale system, please contact the individual library for details about their exhibitions program.

Q: What is required of an online exhibition curator?

A: Curators are responsible for contacting the Online Exhibitions Committee to request access to Omeka S, our online exhibitions platform. Please submit an exhibition proposal, which will be reviewed by the Online Exhibitions Committee. Curators will take full responsibility for creating the online exhibition, which includes:

  • Gather metadata for exhibition items
  • Gather and format images of exhibition materials
  • Obtain rights to images or confirm Fair Use of each image using Fair Use Analysis Tool Worksheet
  • Prepare additional content such as narrative text and captions
  • Plan the narrative sequence and layout for the exhibition
  • Build the exhibition in Omeka S using the above components
  • The curator is responsible for addressing any issues that may arise regarding content or copyright
  • Students may assist in exhibition creation at the curator's discretion.

Q: What support is available for creating an online exhibition?

A: Each curator will be assigned a liaison from the Online Exhibitions Committee who can assist with basic technical support and content development advice. Liaisons are available to provide guidance but will not create the online exhibition. Technical guidelines for creating online exhibitions are available in the Resources & Best Practices tab of this LibGuide.

Q: What does maintaining an online exhibition involve?

A: The online exhibition curator is responsible for reviewing their own exhibitions at least once every year, or following a major Omeka upgrade.The Online Exhibitions Committee will notify all curators when a major Omeka upgrade occurs. Any problems found during review must be addressed by the curator. If an online exhibition curator leaves YUL, they must designate another person from the sponsoring department to continue reviews going forward.

Q: Do you support online exhibitions platforms other than Omeka?

A: YUL has decided to use Omeka as the single online exhibition platform. No other platforms are supported at this time.

Q: Some of the library materials for my exhibition aren't digitized yet. How can I get images of them for my online exhibition?

A: The curator of the online exhibition is responsible for coordinating digitization of any materials not yet in the digital library. Contact the library department responsible for the collections you're using to learn more about their own digitizing procedures. You may want to consult the Guide to Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library: Ordering Reproductions.

Q: I'm not sure about the copyright for some of my images. What do I do?

A: For each item under copyright, the online exhibition curator must fill out the Fair Use Analysis Tool worksheet and consult Yale's Guide to Rights Clearance. Online exhibitions will also include a disclaimer providing contact information for takedown requests.

Q: Do I need specific software to create an online exhibition?

A: If you need to manipulate images and/or create a banner image, you will need image editing software. Photoshop, available through the Yale Software Library, is the best tool for formatting images and creating the online exhibition banner. It is also available on the computers in Bass Library and at the Haas Arts Library (on computers connected to Epson flatbed scanners). You may also investigate hiring a Yale graphic designer, such as the Office of the University Printer, a student from the School of Art's Graphic Design program, or Printing & Publication Services, to design your online exhibition banner.

If you still have questions about online exhibitions, please contact a member of the Online Exhibitions Group.