What is the Exchange?

The Exchange is a platform where users can create, remix and share materials from their personal computers and across the web with materials from the UMMA Collections. These Resources (which can be grouped into Collections), allow users to create presentations, slideshows and working groups of artwork, media and text that can be shared with fellow students, colleagues or shared as a public website.

What can it be used for?

The materials created in the Exchange can be used as a class presentation, a reference tool for museum staff & volunteers, a collaboration tool for students to share resources, and a course planning tool for educators to create new resources for their students. The materials in the Exchange are largely formatted by the users, so they can fit any purpose a user can come up with!

Overview of the Exchange

The general structure of the Exchange can be broken down into three categories: Collections, Resources, and Media. Collections can contain Resources and other Collections, they provide the general structure of the Exchange. For example a course, say Art History 101, would be a Collection, with sub Collections for Course Materials, Homework, Reference Images and so on. In each Collection, Resources will provide access to specific items. For example the course syllabus would be a Resource in Course Materials, while Goya’s “The Third of May 1808” would be a resource in Reference Images. Each of these Resources, in turn, has associated Media that can be drawn from the UMMA Collections, a user’s computer or from sources online such as YouTube and Flickr. For the course syllabus, the Media would be a PDF uploaded from a users computer. For the Goya, Media would be an image of the painting itself, possibly accompanied by a video examining parts of the painting, or even a podcast of a previous lecture describing it.


Creating a new Resource

Resources provide the contents of your materials in the Exchange. They can describe specific items, events, artworks and other materials, and have Media that depict these things. They are comprised of text with associated data fields (copyright, etc.) along with Media files. They can be organized into Collections.

Each Resource is comprised of three parts:

  1. The Body Text, the main element of the Resource, which provides a free form text area where you can describe the Resource and provide any information you would like. Media can also be embedded in the Body Text.
  2. The Additional Fields, which provide additional information such as copyright status, comments, external links and other information.
  3. The Media, which allow users to add images, video, audio and documents to the Resource

There are two ways of creating a new Resource:

  1. From the Dashboard as described above
  2. From the Edit Collection screen of any Collection. From the right hand column you can click Add Resource and then select Create New Content to create a new Resource

When creating a Resource you will be asked if you would like to add the new Resource to a Collection. This is optional; Resources can exist as stand-alone items, or be added to a Collection (or several Collections) at a later time.

Adding Media

Media are the files that depict the subject of the Resource. These can be drawn from the UMMA Collection, your personal computer or one of several popular websites (Flickr, Google Docs, YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. See Below). To add Media, click Add Media in the right hand column. This will open a window where you can upload a media file and associated data fields (see below)

Adding auxiliary data/formatting

Similar to Collections, Resources can be formatted using the Edit Resource screen. The body text is edited by using the text formatting tools available.

Any Media item can be embedded in the body text through the Media Item button in the body text tools. Media embedding uses a simplified HTML markup with a basic format of <media [slug] [version] [width] [height] [caption] [float]>. (NOTE: The slug identifies the embedded media and CANNOT be edited.) The Media Item button will open a form where these options can be customized with the following options:

Embed Size
The size of the embedded media as a percentage of the width of the body text. Valid options are: "Quarter", "Half" and "Full"
Display Caption?
A yes/no option that sets the display of the user-created caption associated with each Media Item
Set to either “left” or “right” to force the media to align within the body text, or to "none" to place the media alone on a line with text above and below
Width/Height (Optional)
Sets the specific width & height of the media in pixels (use e.g. width=500). This can be done by editing the embedded media tag, these are not default options.

In addition to the main body text, there are several fields of additional publication & copyright data and related information and materials fields that provide additional information and context to the Resource. These options and tools operate in the same manner for Collections and Resources, please see below for reference on using these sections.

Resources also have several unique options for configuring the display of Media within the Resource. These can be set from the Formatting tab:

This displays Media items as a slideshow with the body text either above or below (as set in the Formatting tab in the editing screen.
This displays a grid of preview images for the Media items associated with a Resource. Each can be opened into a larger view
Thumbnails with Captions
Operates the same as the Thumbnails option, but includes the user assigned caption below each preview image.
Embed in text
This option disables the automatic display of Media with the Resource, and instead only displays Media where embedded in the body text through the Media Item tool.

Adding to a Collection

Once created a Resource can be added to a Collection in the top bar of the Edit Resource screen. Each Resource can be a part of as many Collections as is desired/necessary. The Collections the Resource is a member of can be managed from the Collections tab at the bottom of the Edit Resource screen.


Once you’ve created a Resource you can click Preview in the upper right hand corner of your screen. This will take you to the public page for the Resource. After reviewing this page you can click Edit to return to the editing screen to make further changes or set the Resource to published.

Sharing & Collaboration



Adding a Media file

Media files can be uploaded from a range of online sources, as well as from your computer and the UMMA Collection. Each media file associated with a Resource is assigned a caption, and can be embedded within the body text of the Resource (see above for information on embedding media).

Adding media files allows you to combine materials from across the internet in new and engaging ways, sharing the story of an event or artwork through different media. For example a photograph in the UMMA collection could be accompanied by an interview with the photographer and a video of the same event.

UMMA Objects

Artworks in the UMMA Collection can be added to any Resource by searching for them through the Add Media tool. Selecting an UMMA artwork will add an image of the artwork along with a brief caption. This caption provides:

  • Artist
  • Title
  • Medium/technique
  • size
  • Call Number
  • Credit Line


Images can be imported from Flickr by using the main URL to an image page.

Images which have had their download rights restricted by the uploader cannot be added to the Exchange. All images released under a Creative Commons license are available as are all items in Flickr Commons

Google Docs

Google documents (docs, sheets and slides) can be added to the Exchange through one of two methods:

  1. By providing a link directly to the editable document. To do so please be sure that you have made the document at least viewable (or editable) by the public by setting the sharing options available through the Share button in the upper right corner of the Google Docs screen.
  2. By selecting “Publish to the Web” from the File menu. This provides a link to a publicly available webpage of the document that is not editable by the public.


Videos hosted on YouTube can be added to the Exchange by providing the main URL to the video. YouTube (and Vimeo) videos will embed as playable videos.


Similar to YouTube, Vimeo videos can be added as Media by providing the main URL to the video. This will embed a playable video as the Media preview.

If the video is password-protected, users will be prompted for a password before they are able to watch the video


Audio clips and music can be added as Media through SoundCloud. Adding a SoundCloud file (through a URL) embeds a SoundCloud widget as Media through which the audio file can be played.

Local Files

Images and documents can also be uploaded from your computer. These will embed and display similar to the other Media types.

The following formats are supported as local file uploads:

  • JPG
  • MOV
  • MP4
  • MP3
  • PDF
  • PNG


Creating a new Collection

Collections organize the materials in your Exchange, and can contain both other Collections as well as Resources.

They can be created in several different ways:

  1. From the Dashboard as described above
  2. From the Edit Collection screen, where you can add the current Collection to a larger Parent Collection or create a new Sub-Collection within your current Collection
  3. From the Edit Resource screen, where you can add the current Resource to a new Collection

Formatting a Collection

Each new collection can be organized and formatted however you see fit by using the text formatting tools on the Edit Collection screen.

In addition to the main body text, there are several fields of additional publication & copyright data that provide additional information and context to the Collection. These options and tools operate in the same manner for Collections and Resources, please see below for reference on using these sections.

Below the main editing fields additional tabs provide further formatting options and the ability to relate other Exchange items, link external resources and add comments, tags and keywords. Most important of these options is the Formatting tab, which sets general options for how the item appears in the Exchange. These options are described below.

Adding Resources

Once created, you may add Resources to the new Collection through the right hand column. Clicking Add Resource will open a new screen where you can search for an existing Resource to add to the Collection or create a new Resource.

Once added the first Media Item and and Caption from the Resource will be displayed in the column. All Resources can be dragged and re-ordered here, their order determines the order in which they are displayed on the public page for the Collection.

Adding sub and parent Collections

Collections can also be used to hierarchically organize the materials in your Exchange by combining Collections into parent Collections that contain many Sub-Collections. This is done from the top bar of the Edit Collection screen.

When clicked, you will be able to search for existing Collections and to create new Collections. All Collections work in the same manner with child Resources and Sub-Collections. It is possible for Collections and Resources to have many Collections they are a member of, and Collections can contain as many Collections/Resources as you would like to add.


Once you’ve created a Collection you can click Preview in the upper right hand corner of your screen. This will take you to the public page for the Collection. After reviewing this page you can click Edit to return to the editing screen to make further changes or set the Collection to published.

Sharing and Collaboration


Editing Tools

Publication & Copyright Fields

Provides some additional information helping to identify the Collection
Copyright License
This allows you to select from a set of CreativeCommons licenses, granting different levels of permission to use and edit your work with or without attribution. Also available is the option to assign no copyright to the Collection or note the Collection as a US Government work.
Copyright Notes
These can provide further details about the copyright status of the Collection (or its child Collections, Resources and Media), including contact information for an administrator or link to a further description of the source of the copyright license
Publication Status
Provides the option to set the newly created Collection to be publicly available. By default this is set to “Unpublished”, and is only visible to the users granted access in the Access tab. If you would like to share your work in progress, or when it is completed, it may be set to “Published”
Provides the option to add an author to the resource (by default the author is whichever Exchange user created the item). This automatically searches all existing exchange users, any of which can be assigned as the author of the item.
The educational affiliation/interest of the Resource/Collection allows other users to identify them by their intended audience. This field is provided to allow users to filter their search results by Affiliation or browse on all Resources/Collections intended for a specific audience

Formatting Tab

Media Formatting Applies only to Resources
Governs how associated media are displayed for Resources ONLY. The following options are available:
  1. Slideshow: Displays the media in centered slideshow. A fullscreen slideshow can be opened by clicking the icon in the upper-right corner of the slideshow
  2. Thumbnails: Displays a grid of the media associated with the item. The media items are displayed in a small, preview format
  3. Thumbnails with Captions: Operates in the same manner as the Thumbnail option described above, but includes the user-assigned caption, whereas the basic Thumbnail option excludes this text.
  4. Embed in Text: Displays no media by default, the only media displayed are the files embedded in the body text manually by the user through the Embed Media button. The embedded media is then displayed with the user-assigned settings provided through the Embed tool.
Text Placement
  • For Resources: This provides options to place the text either Above or Below the media. (If Embed in Text is selected this has no impact on the display of the Resource
  • For Collections: This provides the options to place the text to the Left of or Above the Media.
Text Formatting Applies only to Resources
This provides 2 options that enable users to customize how much text is displayed with the Resource:
  • Only display the first 10 lines of text: Collapses the body text so that only the first 10 lines display with a button to "Show More". This allows users to see the body text and media on a single screen by default if the body text is lengthy. It also provides general formatting flexibility.
  • Body text collapsed by default: Sets whether the body text is collapsed or expanded by default.
User Interactions
These options control the options that users have in responding and adding to the resource:
  1. Allow Comments: Enable users to leave free-text comments on items.
  2. Allow Tags & Keywords: Enable users to add Tags (free-text terms) or Keywords (terms selected from a controlled list) on items.
  3. Allow Users to Post Responses: Enable users to create an item (Resource or Collection) in "response" (see the Collaboration section of this User Guide) with their own content to further, rebut or comment on the content of the current item.
  4. Display Responses on a separate page: Sets display of user-posted Responses to either display on a section with the current item or on a separate page.

Related Items & Context Tabs

This allows the creator of a Resource/Collection to set who can read and edit it while it its Publication Status is "Unpublished" (or to grant them the ability to edit when it is Published). These permissions can be assigned to individual users, or to groups of users. Find users or user groups by searching in the fields in this tab, which will automatically look up Exchange usernames.
This allows users to set either other Collections and Resources as related to the current Collection. This is a more casual relationship than adding the related resource to a Collection and can be used where the materials might be similar or of note for some specific reason (which can be described in the Relationship’s caption).
Tags & Keywords
Tags are terms that you can assign to the Collection that describe either its purpose or its contents. Once public, all users will be able to add tags to the Collection and they can be managed here.

Keywords perform a similar role to Tags, but are drawn from a controlled list of terms.
Similar to Tags you can add comments to any Collection, and once public, so can other Exchange users. From this section you can delete any comments left on your Collection by users.
These are links to external websites, which may contain useful information or further materials pertaining to your Collection. These will appear with the link text you select displayed.
This identifies all Collections that this item is a member of. This is useful for quickly seeing the parents of a specific Collection and allowing you to navigate among these various Collections.


Viewing your Collections & Resources

The Dashboard provides an overview of the Dashboard and Resources that you have created and allows you to manage them (edit, delete, copy, share and publish). These options are available in the “Your Learning Collections/Resources” column, which can be searched by Collection/Resource title. The options for each of these are:

View the public page of the Collection/Resource
Edit the Collection/Resource
Duplicate the Collection/Resource placing a new copy in your set of materials for editing
Make the Collection/Resource publicly available online, or make it private. The public URL for all materials is the URL available through the Preview option
Remove the Collection/Resource from your Exchange THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE

You may also view all recent changes made, Collections/Resources created, Media added and materials deleted in the “Your Activity” column. These recently changed materials can be accessed from the column (with the exception of deleted materials).

The Search tool is available from all pages. Information on searches can be found below.

Creating new Collections & Resources

New materials can be created through the “NEW” button in the upper right hand corner of the Dashboard. Both Collections and Resources can be created here. All new materials are automatically added to your materials and can be accessed at any time from the Dashboard. Once created, add content, text and Media as described in the Collections, Resources, and Media sections below.

Your Favorites

This section displays materials that you have flagged as a Favorite. It can be used to save materials for future reference, track the progress of other users’ work or temporarily store items for reference while working on a new Collection/Resource.

Similar to “Your Learning Collections/Resources” materials that have been favorited can be searched by title and can be removed from the favorites list by clicking the “x” in the upper right corner of the preview image for each Collection/Resource.

Groups & Collaboration



Basic search

The Basic Search (available from all pages in the top navigation bar) searches across all fields of Exchange Collections and Resources. This is a useful tool to perform a general search on a topic or quickly locate a item in the Exchange.

Advanced search

The Advanced Search screen provides additional search options depending on the type of Exchange item you would like to search for:

Collections & Resources
Can be searched specifically on title and keywords. These results can also be limited by the Affiliations associated with each item (e.g. K-12 Educator or UMMA Docent).
UMMA Objects
In addition to title and keywords, UMMA Objects can be searched on a range of fields drawn from the UMMA record for the item. These are: Style/Group/Movement, Artist/Maker, Medium and Support, Artist Nationality, Date Created, Classification/Object Type, Credit Line, Other Dates, Addtl. Classification/Object Type, Related Places, Current Location
UMMA Exhibition
This search allows you to find UMMA Objects associated with an UMMA Exhibition. In addition to searching by title and keyword, Exhibitions can be found by: Artist/Maker, Artist Nationality, Exhibition Dates, Location.

Query Builder

The Query Builder provides a visual tool that users can use to create complex and detailed search queries in the Exchange. It allows users to see all of the available fields, and in many cases the available search terms.

The basis of Queries are individual Rules, each of which provides a single search criteria. For example a specific artist or a keyword. If the Rule is on a field with a controlled list of terms, only these terms will be available as search criteria.

These Rules can be combined into Groups that apply them together. Within each Group the Rules are either applied through AND relationships where they ALL must match a single record for it to be returned in the search or through OR relationships where records will be returned if ANY of the Rules match an record.

Multiple Groups can be added to a single query to create complex searches that are either highly specific (e.g. return items by a specific artist AND which are on paper AND are from the years 1942 OR 1945. This would have the artist and material queries as separate Rules and the two year queries together in a Group.) or which have a broad reach (e.g. creating a Group to search for works by artists from a group of nations).


Read/Edit Permissions for Users & Groups

At any point after a Resource or Collection has been created access can be granted for other users to view or edit the item. This is done in the Access tab on the Edit item screen, which allows users to set access for both individual users and groups of users.

If the Publication Status of the item is set to "Published" it is visible to anyone using the Exchange, but cannot be edited. To grant the ability to edit to specific users, users can search for their names in the Access tab to grant them edit access.

If the Publication Status of the item is "Unpublished" it is, by default, not visible to other Exchange users. To grant reading or editing access to other users or user groups, users can follow the same procedure above in the Access tab to grant them read or edit access, which can be assigned on a case-by-case basis.


Any Resource or Collection can be published at any time (to share a final product or a work-in-progress for review) by changing the Publication Status to "Published". Once this is set, the URL to the Preview page for any Exchange item can be shared (through email, social media, etc.).

Once published, an item can be made private again simply by changing Publication Status back to "Unpublished," this field can be toggled at any time to change the availability of an item. The URL will remain the same, so temporarily blocking access to an item can be done without updating any pages or posts where an item is shared