Multi-level collections consist of a main collection containing one or more sub-collections called Topics.  Topics are presented as links that are located on the left side of the multi-collection page.  Multi-level collections are a good way to organize a large amount of related content so users can find information quickly.

PBS recommends the following workflow when creating multi-level collections:

  1. Create a base multi-level collection
  2. Create topics 
  3. Re-open multi-level collection to view associated topics

If you have access to a resource or child collection that is part of a parent collection, you will have access to all the content of the parent collection. 

This section outlines the process of creating multi-level collections. 

Learn how to create a single collection


How to create a multi-level collection

Be sure all required fields are filled out before saving.  If you leave a required field unpopulated and attempt to save your file, images will not be retained.

  • From the left hand navigation menu or in the CMS section on the main dashboard, click Collections (Figure 1).

Figure 1


  • In the upper right side of the screen, click Add collection (Figure 2).

Figure 2


  • In the Title textbox, type a Title for your collection (Figure 3.1).
  • Click the Collection template dropdown menu and click Multi-Level Collection (Figure 3.2).
  • Click Save and continue editing (Figure 3.3).

The URL field auto-populates when the page is saved and is based on the title of your collection.

Figure 3


Add Metadata

When copying text from an outside source such as Microsoft Word or any other type of document, you must first paste it into a text editor such as Notepad.  After pasting it into a text editor, copy and paste the text into the PBS LearningMedia CMS.  This removes any existing formatting that may compromise the appearance of your collection.

  • Click Show next to the Metadata section title (Figure 4).

Figure 4

  • In the Search description textbox, type a short description that will be used when users search for your collection (Figure 5.1). (info) This description appears on the search results page. If you leave this field blank, the first part of your long description will be used in search results.  
  • In the Long description textbox, type a long description for your collection (Figure 5.2).  (info) The long description appears on the main collection page. 
  • Type some keywords in the Keywords textbox (Figure 5.3). (info) Keywords do not surface in a browser.  They are used to help a user search for your collection when they type keywords into the search textbox in the top left side of the PBS LearningMedia website.  Use words that are descriptive of the content of your collection.  Learn about site search
  • In the Category and Subject sections, click the checkbox next to each category and subject that is relevant to your collection (Figure 5.4).
  • Check the box next to each grade for which the collection is appropriate (Figure 5.5). Your collection will appear in search results when a user searches by grades that match what you assign here. If left blank and a user does not refine their search by grade, your collection can appear by keyword search.

Figure 5

Add Topics

  • Next to Topics in this collection, Click Show (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Select existing topic

  • Type search criteria in the textbox provided and click Select (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • When the popup box appears, click the checkbox next to each topic you want to add to your collection (Figure 2.1). 
  • Click Add collection topics to add the selected items to your collection (Figure 2.2). 

Figure 2

  • Your selected topics display. Click the grey patterned edge on an item and drag it to reorder it (Figure 3.1). Learn more about reordering topics
  • Click Remove next to any topic you wish to remove from your collection (Figure 3.2). The topic will remain active in PBS LearningMedia and can be added again.
  • To create a topic that does not currently exist in PBS LearningMedia, click Add New (Figure 3.3).

Figure 3


You can create a Topic from this page, but we recommend following these instructions to create a Topic.

Add Collection Graphics

  • Next to the Collection Graphics title, click Show (Figure 8).

Figure 8

  • Click the Browse button next to Thumbnail to seach for and add a thumbnail image to your collection (Figure 9.1).  After saving the page, the filename appears above the browse textbox (Figure 9.2).
  • Click the Browse button next to Banner to search for and add a banner image to your collection (Figure 9.3).  After saving the page, the filename appears above the browse textbox (Figure 9.4). 

Click each image to enlarge


  • The banner image must be 1170 pixels wide by 150 pixels high.
  • To delete an image, you must first save the page.  After saving the page, click the checkbox next to the filename and save the page again.  The image is removed.

Figure 9


Add Attributions

  • Click Show next to the Attributions section title (Figure 10).

Figure 10


If there are no attributions, begin by clicking Add another row.

  • Click the Role dropdown menu and click the role that aligns with the attribution you are adding (Figure 11.1). Attributions can include funder, contributor, producer, and brand.
  • Begin to type the name of the Entity and as you type an auto-generated list of matches appear.  Click the Entity you want to use (Figure 11.2). (warning) If the entity you are searching for is not included in the dropdown list, notify your PBS point of contact.
  • After selecting an entity, the associated logo automatically appears in the Logo column (Figure 11.3).
  • You can add personal notes in the Text textbox (Figure 11.4), however, his field does not surface in a browser.
  • The Order column determines the order in which your attributions appear in a browser (Figure 11.5). Numbers display in ascending order which means typing a 1 will display that attribution first. 
  • The option to delete the attribution does not appear until after the resource has been saved (Figure 11.6).  After saving the resource, click the checkbox that appears next to the attribution you want to delete under the Delete column then click Save and continue editing to remove the attribution.
  • To add another attribute, click Add another row (Figure 11.7).

You can add an unlimited number of Attributions.  If the organization has an associated logo in the database, the logo will appear when you select an entity.

Click image to enlarge

Figure 11 

Add Collection Credits

  • Click Show next to the Collection Credit section title (Figure 12).

Figure 13


  • In the Credits textbox, type any credits you want to add (Figure 14.1).
  • Click Save (Figure 14.2).

Click image to enlarge


(info) The text editor provides the following functionality:

    • Format text - Highlight the text you want to format and click these buttons to format.
    • Link text - Highlight the text you want to link and click the link icon. To unlink text, hightlight the link and click the broken link icon.
    • Add an image - Click the image icon to add an image to the page. 
    • Add bullets - Click the unformatted or numbered bullet icon to add bullets to your page.
    • Use preformatted text - Highlight the text you want to format and click the dropdown menu to select a preformatted text style.
    • Add HTML - Click the HTML icon to add and format text in HTML.

The following graphic demonstrates how to:

  • Hyperlink text
  • Add an image
  • Bold text
  • Italicize text
  • Use bullets
  • Use preformatted text options

How to publish a multi-level collection

Each time you save your collection it is automatically is published. If topics in your Sub-Collection are not published they will not be appear on PBS LearningMedia. So be sure everything in your collection is published before publishing the entire collection.

How to rearrange collection topics

You can rearrange your collection topics and make top-level items sub-level items and vice versa. 


  • Click the grey patterned edge on the left side of each topic (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Drag the item to its new location (Figure 2). You can move a top-level item into a sub-level spot and vice versa.

Figure 2

  • When the item is in its new position, release your mouse (Figure 3).

Figure 3