Skip to main content

Villanova University's VuFind Search Software Receives Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration

Villanova joins MIT, Carnegie Mellon and others in receiving 2008 MATC Awards

Representatives from some of the top names in the Internet/technology sector, including Google and Mozilla, served on award selection committee

Dec. 16, 2008

VILLANOVA, Pa., Dec. 16, 2008 – Villanova University has received a $50,000 Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration (MATC) for its VuFind program, an innovative library search software developed by the University’s Falvey Memorial Library. Villanova was acknowledged Dec. 8 at the annual Coalition for Networked Information Task Force conference in Washington, D.C. The MATC awards honor not-for-profit organizations that display leadership in the collaborative development of open source software tools with application to scholarship in the arts, humanities and cultural heritage arenas. Villanova will use the funds received through this award to further develop the VuFind software.

Villanova joined MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in receiving 2008 MATC awards. This year’s awards committee included several distinguished names in the Internet/technology sector, including Timothy Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web’s http protocol; Google’s Vint Cerf, one of the Internet’s early technical architects; Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla Corp.; John Gage, chief researcher at Sun Microsystems; and John Seely Brown, former director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

“It is a special thrill to receive an honor like this,” said Joe Lucia, Villanova University Librarian. “It was especially gratifying to hear Vint Cerf of Google present the award and emphasize the fact that a project garnering such international attention in the library community had originated at a medium-sized university. VuFind is blazing the trail in developing search-and-discover software built by and for libraries in a manner that gives back control to the library community of some very basic tools. One of the most exciting aspects of the VuFind initiative is the way in which it has fostered a collaborative technology development process among libraries large and small alike.”

VuFind is a next-generation multi-faceted library resource discovery portal that replaces the traditional library catalog search tool with enhanced features like visually enhanced results displays, book reviews, user commentary, tagging, personal favorite lists and automatic citation output that includes text message capabilities. Though initially developed at Villanova University as its primary library search system, VuFind has been adopted by the broader library community and is popular with leading open source technology developers working in libraries around the globe. VuFind is currently being used at the National Library of Australia, Georgia Tech, Yale, Stanford, George Mason and the College of William & Mary, among other institutions.

Designed using a modular architecture that allows it to integrate easily with any library management system for live status of materials, Villanova offers VuFind for free via the GPL open source license. The software is available for download through the VuFind Web site,, and via

For more information about VuFind visit

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.