Publishing and Annotation Tools

Social annotation tool that is created specifically for classroom use. Now available as app integrated into Canvas. Web version is free, requires Chrome add-on download.

Pros: Web version is free. Integration with Canvas allows for easier grading of student annotations than with Manifold.

Cons: Web version requires creating login and add-on download, use of Chrome browser (this is generally not an issue now that it is integrated with Canvas and using it that way is recommended).

Accessibility: annotation requires mouse use to highlight text.


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Interactive publishing and annotation tool. Manifold is geared more toward publishing works rather than classroom annotation use, but the latter is still possible. Open source but needs to be hosted/installed on a server. UW Libraries pay for a vendor-hosted (Reclaim) instance and as of late May 2021 have adopted the suite of Digital Scholarship Open Hosting Platforms as permanent services.

Pros: Can ingest a number of different document and media types, including Google Docs. Faculty can be made users and their students can be added as user groups without requiring additional permissions or logins. UW Libraries are happy to provide support for using Manifold and host periodic trainings as well as offer the possibility of one-on-one training.

Cons: Grading is not integrated into Canvas and requires extra work to grade student annotations. If not using the Libraries' Reclaim Hosting, need server access and technical skills to install. Manifold projects can’t be migrated out or downloaded from the system; they also can’t be migrated from one instance to another (say you got your own server and installed a local instance of Manifold and had a project in the UW instance of Manifold, you couldn’t move the project to your new server – you’d have to rebuild). This is a known issue but a fix is not expected soon.

Accessibility: Highlighting text for annotation and opening the palette tool requires use of the mouse.


  • Working with Manifold projects: Guide from the app creators on building and editing projects, creating users, and other functions.
  • Writing for Manifold: Guide from the app creators around author considerations for formatting, approaching publishers, etc.

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Open-source platform for digital collections and exhibits. As an open-source tool, it is free to install but requires a server to install it on. The UW Libraries Digital Scholarship Tools & Infrastructure project includes the ability to host an Omeka instance via Reclaim Hosting’s servers. also provides hosting for a fee.

Pros: Open-source and free (with the right resources). Currently supported by the UW Libraries with periodic trainings; also strong support community in the library & archives world online. Easy to use interface and built-in templates. Content can generally be migrated with some work/data cleanup.

Cons: If not using Libraries/Reclaim hosting, need server access and technical skills to install.


  • Omeka website: Includes information on the various forms of Omeka available to users (Omeka Classic, Omeka S,, documentation for using the platform, examples of different versions, tiers, and templates.
  • hosting: The paid hosting option direct from Omeka. Includes several different tiers of storage space, support, and customization.
  • UW project examples:
    • LIS 598 Applied Digital Humanities Winter 2021: This Omeka site is the product of Sarah Ketchley’s DH course in the iSchool. Students uploaded data sets and other digital objects (which can be accessed individually as digital assets) as well as constructed exhibits describing their processes and findings and contextualizing the digital objects. The site also embeds content from other tools such as TimelineJS.

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Publishing tool, best used for classroom texts and open educational resources (OER). Pressbooks reps host periodic trainings for UW users.

Pros: Easy to use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, especially if you’re familiar with Wordpress. Can import books from other Pressbooks libraries to your own then personalize. Supported by the UW Libraries. Increasingly can integrate other useful tools -- support for Hypothesis annotation tool and H5P activities allow for interactive modules within texts.


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