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LoCloud Collections: Basic User Guide

1. REGISTRATION

In order to create your own digital collections system with LoCloud Collections and Omeka, firstly you have to create a new account. The registration icon is located in the right upper corner of the website's homepage. 

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Illustration 1. Registration form

After filling the registration form with your e-mail address and a password, you will receive a confirmation e-mail:

Welcome to LoCloud Collections!
This email was sent to you because you created an account in LoCloud Collections system.
Before you could start using our service, we need to verify your email.

Click here to verify your account or copy this URL into your browser:
https://locloudhosting.net/users/registration-confirmation?key=(...)

In case of any problems please contact us:
https://locloudhosting.net/contact/

Regards,
LoCloud Collections Team

After getting this e-mail you have to activate your account by entering the received verification link, what will cause the redirection to the homepage and activation of the account. 

Then you can log in and start creating new digital collections system.

2. START YOUR OWN DIGITAL COLLECTIONS SYSTEM

After logging into your LoCloud home panel (Illustration 2) you have a possibility to ‘Create new digital collections system’ available at the main page below the ‘User account details’, ‘Account setting’ and ‘Billing’ options. 

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Illustration 2. Your administration panel and the list of owned collections systems.

Clicking the button mentioned above leads to the screen visible in the Illustration 3. 

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Illustration 3. Enter general information about your collection. 

You have to enter some basic information about your new collections system: collection name; user account name; subdomain. All collections systems are created and hosted in the ‘locloudhosting.net’ domain, the subdomain is an individual name for a particular collection. Afterwards you choose size/payment option and enter some billing information. There are several pricing plans which depend on the planned storage space of the collections system.  

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Illustration 4. Billing information.

Now your collections system is ready to start. 

3. ADMINISTRATION PANEL

Next to the name of the particular owned collections system in the Locloud home panel you can find a ‘details’ button. Entering this option gets you to the screen from Illustration 5 containing Digital Collections System Details: Basic Information, Advanced Operations, Promotion Agreement, Pricing and Your Usage. 

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Illustration 5.  Digital collections system details

Basic Information:

  • ‘Base system’ presents the current system of your digital collections system.
  • ‘Public website address’ is the URL under which your digital collections system is available for public users.
  • ‘Digital collections system admin panel’ is a link leading to your Omeka administration panel

Promotion Agreement - if you mark this, your digital collections system will be promoted on the locloudhosting.net website.  

Advanced Operations:

  • MORE Aggregator - MORE Aggregator is a part of the LoCloud project infrastructure nad allows easy delivery of data to Europeana. You will be redirected to MORE web service where you can setup and manage harvesting of metadata from your digital collections system.
  • Get Direct Access to Content - it is possible to access the direct content of your collections system so as to download it in files form.
  • Delete Everything - if you click this button your collections system will immediately disappear.

In ‘Pricing’ you can see and change your currently chosen pricing program. ‘Your usage’ shows the amount of storage you use in your collections system. 

Another tab available in your Locloud admin panel is ‘Account Settings’ located between to ‘User account details’ and ‘Billing’. After entering this option you will see a screen depicted in the Illustration 6.

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Illustration 6. Account settings where you can edit your personal settings (e-mail, password, company, username, vat number, address, phone number, country)

OMEKA - administration panel

1. LOGGING IN

The link to this panel is listed in your Digital Collections System Details in your LoCloud Collections administration panel. Login and password necessary to log into it are those given in the process of digital collections system creation. If you do not remember your password you should use the ‘lost your password’ option (located on the bottom of the login box) and use there the same the e-mail address as while registering to LoCloud Collections.  

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Illustration 7. Login to Omeka


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Illustration 8. Your administrator’s dashboard in Omeka.

From this level, you can as well add single objects as create defined collections. If you plan to create collections, it is better to add them before items, because if the collection already exists you can assign items to it during their creation. The other way round you have to edit each existing item in order to put it into a newly created collection. 

2. BASIC CONFIGURATION OF YOUR COLLECTIONS SYSTEM

METADATA

First thing you should do after establishing a new digital collections system is to compose a proper metadata scheme suitable for your needs. Dublin Core is a basic metadata scheme for items and collections system in Omeka (with fifteen properties to use in resource description as a standard version). Apart from this, Omeka offers you a few facilitations to make your administration faster and efficient.  

There is also a possibility to add constant comments/instructions to properties in your collection's metadata element set. This function is a useful facilitation for you as an administrator so as to give instructions about entering metadata properties to editors of the collection. It is also possible to drag the elements to change their places into the preferred display order. You can add a comment to any property and click ‘Save changes’ so as to make your comment visible. This option is available in ‘Settings’ tab in the top bar of the administration panel. 

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Illustration 9. Edition and personalization of metadata element sets


The last convenience is a ‘Simple vocab’ function available in the left menu. Here you can add chosen vocabulary terms to manage selected elements of metadata element set. These options will be visible to choose in your collections system metadata element set. Custom vocabulary terms for a certain element should be entered one per line and then confirmed by ‘Add/Edit Vocabulary’ button.

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Illustration 10. Adding vocabulary terms in Simple Vocab function.

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Illustration 11. An example of Simple Vocab usage. Two vocabulary terms have been added as options to collections system metadata element set. 

CREATING COLLECTIONS

As it was mentioned before, for most users the best next step is creation of collection/collections. This tab is a third option in the left side bar of the admin panel. First thing you should do is to add metadata of a new collection, then, optionally (if there are some already created collections) select a parent collection for a few minor subcollections. You can also choose whether your collection is ready to be public and/or featured just after adding.

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Illustration 12. Adding metadata to the new collection. 

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Illustration 13. Choosing a parent collection. 

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Illustration 14. List of created collections.

APPEARANCE

The last step in basic configuration of your collections is setting a preferred appearance of it. Main link to this option on this is located in the top bar of the administration panel. There are two basic subsections of this tab - ‘Themes’ and ‘Navigation’.

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Illustration 15. How to change theme of your collection.

At the beginning you can preview and change the theme used in appearance of a certain collection. There is also a possibility to download new themes from the Omeka Theme Directory or to learn how to design your own theme.

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Illustration 16. Navigation of the collection's appearance. 

In ‘Navigation’ you can change the order of the links available on your collection's website and also add new ones. There is also a possibility to change their names/labels and URLs. Likewise, you can choose a homepage for your collection.  

Another convenience is the ‘Simple pages’ option, where you can add pages and subpages to the main horizontal menu bar in your collection. You can also edit and delete already added ones. In administration panel you can view added pages in a list or in a hierarchy view.

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Illustration 17. List of added pages

If you choose ‘Add page’ option, first step is to write the name of the forthcoming page, then create a slug (part of page’s URL) and add a content for a page. At the right bar you can mark whether the page you created belongs to another parent page and if so, you can change the order of subpages with the same parent. You should also mark if the page is about to be published immediately after creation.    

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Illustration 18. Adding a new page to the list.


3. ADD YOUR ITEMS

After doing the basic configuration of your collection, you can add items. ‘Items’ button is a second position in the left side menu. At the beginning your items list is empty, if you want to change it, you should click the ‘Add an item’ button.

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Illustration 19. Empty list of items.

Firstly, as in creating collections, you should (but it is not obligatory) fulfill Dublin Core metadata element set values. You can also ‘Add input’ values for each property, the same as in adding collections. 

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Illustration 20. Add input values to properties of Dublin Core metadata in your collection.

The next step is adding files to the item. The maximum size of each added file is 200MB and you can add as many files to the item as your actual billing plan lets you to. Apart from adding files and marking if the item is going to be public (visible in your collection just after publishing) and optionally featured (recommended), you can also select a collection or subcollection in which you want to put your item.

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Illustration 21. Adding files to a new item in your collection. 

There is also an optional possibility to mark your item on a map - you can define the location of place related somehow to the object on a world map. It can be a place where the object was created, the place depicted by the object etc. It is your choice.

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Illustration 22. Locate your item on the map.

Once you have finished putting the details and files of a new item and clicked ‘Add item’, you can see it on your items list and also (if you made it public) in user’s interface of your collection. It is possible to edit, show details, delete or search for individual items. 

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Illustration 23. Browse through your items. 

After adding items publicly, you can also view them from the point of user’s interface. 

OMEKA - user’s interface

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Illustration 24. Omeka user’s interface (one of available themes).  

There are three ways of searching for items in the digital collection. The first one is a simple search by one word or a phrase. In second possibility is the ‘+’ option next to the simple search (although it may look a bit different, depending on the chosen theme). It offers few filters of query and records type. The last way is the advanced search located in ‘Browse items’ tab. There is a range of filters and specific fields which you can use for searching any exact items (i.e. type, collection, user, metadata values).

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Illustration 25. Advanced search in the collection.

In ‘Browse collections’ tab you can choose a collection which you want to browse. You can sort the results by a title, creator or the date that the item was added. ‘Collection tree’ shows you a tree of available collections and their subcollections. There is also a possibility to find items by looking for them on a map. Visibility of basic menu options depends on your choice, and as it has been already presented, you can add your own ones by the administration panel.  

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Illustration 26. Browsing through items in a collection