May 21, 2022

Stanford U. Libraries Begins Building New Tool To Assist in Creation of Digital Collection Websites

From the Digital Library Blog, Stanford University Libraries:

Feedback from librarians, curators, faculty, and other stakeholders has made it clear that there is a strong demand for feature-rich collection sites and, as the volume of digitized content continues to grow, that this demand will continue to outweigh our resources for producing them with a custom-built approach.

To address this, in the first quarter of 2014, SUL began building an application called Spotlight.

Spotlight is a Blacklight plugin that enables librarians, curators, and researchers who are responsible for digital collections to create attractive, feature-rich websites that showcase these collections. Spotlight leverages the rich resource discovery capabilities of Blacklight and extends it to allow curators to feature content from a repository system by enhancing it with rich narrative and context. Spotlight has similarities to existing exhibit solutions but seeks to expand on current models to more tightly integrate with repository infrastructures and bring equally strong focus on search results, objects, and supporting intellectual scaffolding.

The lead designer on the effort, Gary Geisler, took a user-centered approach to conceiving of a highly generalizable solution that took into account Stanford’s local needs as well as feedback from peers at other cultural heritage institutions who are searching for a similar solution. The project planning artifacts, which include concept documents, requirements, detailed personas and mockups, are openly available.

Read the Complete Blog Post by Stu Snydman & Gary Geislerto Learn More, View Video With Accomplishments from Sprint 1

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.