What is Blacklight?

Blacklight is an open source Ruby on Rails gem that provides a discovery interface for any Solr index. Blacklight provides a default user interface which is customizable via the standard Rails (templating) mechanisms. Blacklight accommodates heterogeneous data, allowing different information displays for different types of objects.

What are some of the features?

Blacklight uses Apache Solr, an enterprise-scale index for its search engine. Blacklight features faceted browsing, relevance based searching (with the ability to locally control the relevancy algorithms), bookmarkable items, permanent URLs for every item, user tagging of items.

Who uses it?

The University of Virginia, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and WGBH are the principal contributors to the code base and use it heavily at their institutions. There are dozens of sites worldwide that use Blacklight; you can see a list of some of them on our Examples page.

How do I get started?

Try installing Blacklight and indexing the sample data — our goal is for you to be able to get a demo running very quickly. Read the FAQ, join the mailing list, and come talk to us on IRC. If you want to jump right in, installing Blacklight is as simple as following the instructions on the Quickstart Instructions.