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Thesaurus (module for Omeka S)

Thesaurus is a module for Omeka S that contains helpers to manage a standard thesaurus (ontology skos) to describe documents.

The helpers are:

  • the skos ontology is included;
  • convert tool from a hierarchical list of descriptors to a flat list for Custom vocab (deprecated);
  • a resource template to build the thesaurus as a list of items (recommended);
  • a view helper to display the tree of concepts in the theme, or part of it.
  • a block template to display the thesaurus as a tree (via module Block Plus).

The view helper can be used for any purpose, for example to build a hierarchical list of item sets.

A future version may rely on ISO 25964 (Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies).


Optional modules are [Generic] and Block Plus.

Uncompress files and rename module folder Thesaurus. Then install it like any other Omeka module and follow the config instructions.

See general end user documentation for Installing a module.


This module can be used in two ways: the thesaurus can be a custom vocab or a list of items with ontology skos.

Convert a thesaurus into a flat list

Warning: This part of the module will be moved into another module in next version.

The use of a thesaurus as a custom vocab allows to set it as subject in the resource template, so it helps to normalize the subjects.

To convert a flat list into a flat thesaurus, just got to /admin/thesaurus/convert.

The input file should be a hierarchical text, with tabulation that indicate the hierarchy:

	United Kingdom

Such a table can be created easily with a text editor or LibreOffice Calc (export as csv with tabulation as delimiter).

The output will be a flat thesaurus:

Europe :: France
Europe :: France :: Paris
Europe :: United Kingdom
Europe :: United Kingdom :: England
Europe :: United Kingdom :: England :: London
Asia :: Japan
Asia :: Japan :: Tokyo

Then, you can add it as a custom vocab. In the theme, use the module [Metadata Browse] to create links automatically for the subjects.

Use of concepts as related items

You can create your own thesaurus (or import it via module such [Bulk Import]). For that, use the integrated ontology skos, that contains the classes and the properties to manage items as concepts.

Then, in your theme, use the various methods of the view helper $this->thesaurus($item) in order to display full tree, ascendants, descendants, siblings, etc.

Page block

A template is added for the simple block of module Block Plus. Just set item = id where id is the thesaurus you want to display.


  • Optimize structure building via direct queries to the database. See module EAD.


Use it at your own risk.

It’s always recommended to backup your files and your databases and to check your archives regularly so you can roll back if needed.


See online issues on the module issues page on GitHub.


This module is published under the CeCILL v2.1 licence, compatible with GNU/GPL and approved by FSF and OSI.

In consideration of access to the source code and the rights to copy, modify and redistribute granted by the license, users are provided only with a limited warranty and the software’s author, the holder of the economic rights, and the successive licensors only have limited liability.

In this respect, the risks associated with loading, using, modifying and/or developing or reproducing the software by the user are brought to the user’s attention, given its Free Software status, which may make it complicated to use, with the result that its use is reserved for developers and experienced professionals having in-depth computer knowledge. Users are therefore encouraged to load and test the suitability of the software as regards their requirements in conditions enabling the security of their systems and/or data to be ensured and, more generally, to use and operate it in the same conditions of security. This Agreement may be freely reproduced and published, provided it is not altered, and that no provisions are either added or removed herefrom.


  • Copyright Daniel Berthereau, 2018-2020 (see Daniel-KM on GitHub)

First version of this module was developed for the project Ontologie du christianisme médiéval en images for the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA).

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