Blacklight (software)

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Initial releaseOctober 30, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-10-30)
Stable release
7.0.1 / January 13, 2019; 10 months ago (2019-01-13)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inRuby
TypeLibrary and information science software
LicenseApache License

Blacklight is an open-source Ruby on Rails engine for creating search interfaces on top of Apache Solr indices. The software is used by libraries to create discovery layers or institutional repositories; by museums and archives to highlight digital collections; and by other information retrieval projects.


The University of Virginia began developing Blacklight based on its Collex scholarly publishing software, which also used Ruby and Rails and Solr.[1] The goals of the project included improving the user experience over contemporary OPAC systems, particularly with regard to relevance ranking, and showcasing historically underutilized library collections.[2]


Blacklight includes support faceted browsing, relevance-based searching, bookmarking documents, permanent URLs for documents.[3] It is relatively simple to customize Blacklight, typically by writing Ruby code that overrides default Blacklight code.[4] There are several plugins available for Blacklight as well, including an extension for geospatial data,[5] a digital exhibit creation tool,[6] and various search and user interface features.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cohen, Laura B. (2007). "Adapting an Open-Source Scholarly Web 2.0 System for Findability in Library Collections or: Frankly, Vendors, We Don't Give a Damn". Library 2.0 initiatives in academic libraries. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. pp. 58–72. ISBN 9780838984529.
  2. ^ Eden, Brad; Sadler, Bess (6 March 2009). "Project Blacklight: a next generation library catalog at a first generation university". Library Hi Tech. 27 (1): 57–67. doi:10.1108/07378830910942919.
  3. ^ Kang, Hyeran. "A new interface for IUCAT: Blacklight". reDUX: a blog by the Discovery & User Experience dept. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Configuring and Customizing Blacklight". GitHub. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  5. ^ "GeoBlacklight". Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Spotlight". Project Blacklight. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  7. ^ Cartolano, Robert T. (4 November 2015). "History of Blacklight". doi:10.7916/D8J38S9M. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ DuPlain, Ron; Balser, Dana S.; Radziwill, Nicole M. (19 July 2010). Build great web search applications quickly with Solr and Blacklight. Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy. doi:10.1117/12.857899.
  9. ^ Hackett, Robert (11 April 2016). "The Panama Papers Search Tool Began as an Academic Skunkworks Project". Fortune. Retrieved 19 July 2016.