I am happy to announce the release of Spotlight v0.1.0, available at 

Spotlight is a plugin for Blacklight, that enables libraries and other cultural heritage institutions to build online exhibits from content in their repositories to better highlight their digital collections.  It extends Blacklight by providing a self-service, forms-based user interface that allows exhibit-builders, such as librarians or faculty, to customize the search interface and homepage, and to build media-rich feature pages to better contextualize their collections.

We've completed our first engineering phase, which consisted of 10 sprints, and have been working with our Digital and Rare Maps Librarian to build out the first production instance of a Maps of Africa exhibit. 

If you are interested, have a look at two video screencasts:

* a brief 4-minute tour of the completed site (
* a slightly longer 8-minute demonstration of how to build a new site once a Spotlight instance has been associated with an index (

The 0.1.0 release is ready for you to download, install and take for a test-drive.  We've already received detailed feedback from a few of you who have tested the setup, and that feedback has been most valuable - thank you!  We'd greatly appreciate feedback from a few more early adopters.

The engineering team has taken a pause on development as we work with our curators to build the next few exhibits. But there is certainly much work left to be done.  There is a well populated backlog, and in the fall we intend to get back to work with a focus on the following areas:

* Selection and indexing : the tools and workflow for adding new content to a Spotlight index and updating metadata as it changes in the metadata source or repository.
* Support for more content types : Spotlight currently supports digital still image collections, and we intend to add support for audio, video, PDF, datasets, geospatial objects, web archives and more. 
* Theming : the ability for builders to choose from multiple visual themes to apply to an exhibit or collection, and to add custom header images and branding.
* Repository integration : currently, a Spotlight exhibit can be built on top of any Solr index. Work has begun to more easily create new Spotlight indexes directly from digital repository systems, and to save exhibit-specific metadata and supporting content into repositories. Or initial integration efforts are focussed on Fedora, but we expect integration with other platforms will follow. 

We'd welcome your involvement and contributions in this next phase of work, so please email us at [log in to unmask] when you are ready to jump in.    

-Stu Snydman

Stuart Snydman
Head of Digitization & Web Development
Stanford University Libraries


Spotlight github project:
Project Blacklight:
Maps of Africa exhibit:
Video tour of a completed exhibit:
Video demo of how to build a new exhibit:
Blog post about Spotlight release:

**and of course, please forgive the cross-post**