COMPEL Omeka Dev


Is COMPEL an archive?

Not yet! Right now, we're collecting data to create a network of linked data about the music community. This includes composers, performers, instrument and software creators, researchers, ensembles, and anyone else involved with making music.

What information do you collect?

Anything you're willing to share! This can include metadata (for example, a composer's name, the number of performers needed for a piece, the size of an installation, or the members of an ensemble) or digital objects (scores, video, photographs- anything you don't mind being available to the public).

What types of files can I add to my record?

You can learn more about file uploads here! Since we are using an existing software platform, Omeka, we are limited to the types of files Omeka can hold.

These records are uploaded for display purposes, not for preservation. You can upload event photos, instrument schematics, programs, sheet music, or anything else that you think would clarify the record. Please be aware that some file formats will be available for download by site users.

Right now, the easiest way to add files to a record is to contact Hollis at

Something is incorrect in my record. How do I fix it?

You can either leave a comment on the record, or email Hollis Wittman at describing the issue and she'll take care of it.

What is linked data, and why do you keep mentioning it?

Most of us are familiar with hyperlinks, which we see everywhere online, including this page. Linked data utilizes a similar concept, but rather than just link pages together, it links ideas in a web of connections. This allows for much more robust searching and visualizations. Right now, we're not using true linked data; we're manually adding each link as a hyperlink, in each location and direction applicable. True linked data looks very different; check out Wikidata if you'd like to know more!

Why don't you just add everything to Wikidata/Wikibase instead of using multiple locally hosted platforms?

The Wiki platforms are global and contain a vast amount of data. To keep it from getting completely out of control, they require that records and data have a certain amount of notability. This means that the content (records, people, items) is recognizable beyond the small circle in which it originates. For music, the guidelines usually consist of something like an album release, publication with a major label, or an ensemble member that has received a certain amount of national or international attention.

At COMPEL, we don't necessarily think those criteria are helpful for electronic music. Though collecting limits are necessary for a project of the magnitude of WikiData, they present a non-comprehensive view of the field and support structural iniquity. We are working with WikiProject: Music and WikiProject: Electronic Music to more clearly and inclusively define notability. In the meantime, the records we create in our local instance of WikiBase are very easy to copy to WikiData and the rest of the global Wiki suite if a person, group, or item attains the currently accepted standard of notability.

WikiBase is a robust platform, but many aspects of it are not intuitive or user-friendly. Omeka (which you're currently looking at!) is a much lighter weight option, which means we could get started and have a presentable front end for users sooner, even if it doesn't have all the functionality we're ultimately looking for.