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Digital Authoring and Exhibits Platforms

The following platforms are being used by York University Libraries for the showcasing of digital exhibits and the authoring of digital scholarship. The libraries can help you decide which platforms best suit your research and authorship needs. Contact to book a consultation.


Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Getting started with Scalar is as simple as visiting the site and creating an account, as the Scalar platform is hosted by the University of Southern California and access to the platform is open to all.

Scalar is ideal for working with smaller content collections and gives authors tools to structure essay and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing. The platform also supports an number of visualizations, collaborative authoring, and reader commentary.

Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required. Some sites launched through York University Libraries include:

The Libraries have created a step-by-step guide to working with Scalar.


Omeka is a free, open source content management system for online digital collections, and allows users to publish and exhibit cultural heritage objects.

Omeka is a frequent choice for the display and dissemination of digital collections as it allows for the description, organization, and sharing of digital objects. It adheres to the Dublin Core metadata standard which supports the description of digital objects and is interoperable with other platforms. Omeka is free to use for smaller collections via the website (as a non-expiring free trial), or can be downloaded and installed on a local server. Designed with the non-IT specialist in mind, it is designed to allow users to focus on content.

The Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University Libraries host a number of digital exhibits using the Omeka platform.

The Omeka team has developed an exhaustive and well-designed suite of documentation to support those seeking to learn the platform. In addition, they have created a page that describes how Omeka can be integrated into teaching. Contact to discuss integrating digital scholarship into your teaching.


Digital Scholarship Infrastructure, in collaboration with Library Digital Systems and Initiatives (LDSI) and Library Digital Technology Services (LDTS), provides support on the digital publishing platform Pressbooks.

The Libraries hosts an instance of Pressbooks, which features the work of York University community members. Library staff can provide basic troubleshooting support and orientation on the use of the tool to York University community members. Users must register using their Passport York (PPY) credentials which are then approved by administrators.

We recommend York community members contact eCampusOntario for additional supports with Pressbooks, particularly in the development of open textbooks, and opportunities for collaboration.

To discuss best options for support, contact for more information.

Open Journal Systems (OJS)

For detailed information about York University Libraries' journal hosting program, see our York Digital Journals resource page.