Calisphere uses many technologies to aggregate and deliver digital collections.

The public interface uses Django templates to build pages, Sass to build CSS, Backbone.js to maintain and manage query state, and Jquery-pjax to manage URL history as parts of pages are updated.

Item-level metadata on Calisphere is harvested from a variety of platforms using code adapted from the Digital Public Library of America. The data is indexed in Solr. Collection- and institution-level data is maintained in a Django-based Collection Registry. Calisphere uses Django and solrpy to query the Solr and registry APIs. Some of the items that appear on Calisphere are hosted in a customized implementation of the digital asset management system Nuxeo.

All of our code is publicly available on GitHub.


In 2021, we started an active development project called Rikolti, to replace our current Calisphere harvesting infrastructure. Our Calisphere harvester is crucial to our technical pathways to aggregate collections from your local digital asset management systems, and enables us to pull a thumbnail version of your resources as well as a copy of the descriptive metadata. Our current Calisphere harvester uses older technologies adapted from the Digital Public Library of America's (DPLA) version 1 harvesting stack, developed in 2013. Rikolti will implement a more streamlined and efficient framework, using current and supported technologies. For details, please visit our project GitHub page which includes our development plan, technology framework, as well as our requirements:

Building Rikolti is a highly intensive development project; we’re committed to developing infrastructure that uses current, well-supported systems that can continuously support the statewide aggregation of digital cultural heritage resources. We are aiming to completely replace our current harvesting infrastructure with Rikolti in early 2024, as a provisional timeframe; we will provide updates on our timeline as our development work continues.