CSV Import

This plugin is available for all plans.

The CSV Import plugin allows users to import items from a simple CSV (comma-separated values) file, and then map the CSV column data to multiple elements, files, and/or tags. Each row in the file represents metadata for a single item.

When using this plugin, if you plan to map to specific Item Type metadata fields, then you may only import one item type (document, still image, sound, et al) at a time. You may perform multiple imports.

The plugin has the following features:

Watch this screencast to see CSV Import in action.

Preparing for CSV Import

The best option is usually to use spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or LibreOffice Calc to create and organize your data. All of these programs can export a spreadsheet into CSV format, and will handle all the necessary escaping and quoting for you.

However, if you’re creating or editing your data by hand, there are a few things to keep in mind:


A quick note about CSV formats and importing: The column delimiter is the basic building block of the CSV file, and it is a comma by default.

Each of the remaining delimiter inputs simply accepts a character that’s used to separate multiple values within one “cell” of the CSV.

If you are placing multiple values in single cells, the character you’re using to separate those values is the delimiter. The plugin allows you to specify different delimiters for cells that contain tags, links to files, or normal element data.

Note: If you are importing a CSV file that was exported by Omeka, you may simply select “Use an export from Omeka CSV Report” and your metadata will be directed to the proper fields for you.

CSV Import Screen options

Click the Next button.

On the next screen, you will see a table which includes each of the Dublin Core fields in Omeka, the text from your CSV file that is designated for that field, and a pull-down menu to allow you to map your columns to the appropriate field. Make sure you select an element for each of the fields that is populated.

Matching fields and columns

Click the Import CSV File button. You may check on the progress of your import using the Status tab.

Undo an Import

Undoing a CSV Import

If your import hangs without completing for an extended period but the link to undo the import does not appear, you can enter the link directly into your browser address bar according to the following example:

http://yoursite.omeka.net/admin/csv-import/index/undo-import/id/[IMPORT ID]

For example, if this was your 3rd CSV import, you would use http://yoursite.omeka.net/admin/csv-import/index/undo-import/id/3. You can hover over the links for previous or subsequent imports to deduce the Import ID.

Note, only users with the role of Super or Admin are able to perform CSV Imports.


If your file import encounters an error, check the following things in your CSV file (ideally opened with a text editor rather than something like Excel):