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CHContext is a JavaScript-based widget that is able to provide a list of links to cultural heritage materials based on predefined item of a website on which it is embedded (via given JQuery HTML selector).

Potential use scenarios include:

  • enrichment of a library catalogue website - beside being able to read the item (e.g. a book) description, you also get links to digitized copies of this item or items created by the same author
  • enrichment of a heritage-related blog - you easily can provide links to materials related to each blog post (we also made a WordPress plugin for that!)

The plugin supports three data sources:

There is also possibility to define your own data provider(s). The widget look is customizable via CSS.


The widget is developed by Digital Libraries Team of Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center.

Feel free to contact us in case of any questions.

This project was initiated and partially funded as a part of the Europeana Awareness project, financed under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.


Copyright (c) 2013 Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center
Licensed under the EUPL, Version 1.1 or – as soon they will be approved by the European Commission - subsequent versions of the EUPL (the "Licence").

The full licence text.

How to use it

1. Install the widget

  1. Add chcontext to your project
  • We recommend you to use JsDelivr CDN files:
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
  • or download chcontext.min.js, add it to your project and include it in your html using appropriate path.
<script type="text/javascript" src="$PATH/chcontext.min.js"></script>

Development minified and unminified versions can be found here:

  1. Put div element in place where you want the widget to appear. It has to have class="chcontext-widget-wrapper" parameter. Please read how to configure the widget.
<div id="widget1" class="chcontext-widget-wrapper" data-searchProvider="FBC+" data-queryselector="h1">

2. Configure the widget

Widget main div tag can have the following configuration parameters:

  • data-searchProvider - Name of search provider. Possible values:
  • data-customSearchProvider - Name of custom search provider. Read how to define custom search provider.
  • data-query - defines the query
  • data-queryselector - defines which DOM element text will be used to build the query. Elements have to be indicated by jQuery selector. Here you can find some examples.
  • data-iframe-selector - can be used to run query selection inside of an iframe. An iframe have to be indicated by jQuery selector. This parameter must be used together with data-queryselector. Be aware of that you can select query from inside of an iframe if the iframe is on the same domain as main page. See working example.
  • data-locale - Language code which indicates the language of widget labels. If the property is not defined widget tries to use language indicated by user browser. Currently English and Polish are supported by default and English is the default language. Custom language can be also used (please read Custom Language section).
  • data-resultCount - Maximum number of results to be displayed. Default value is 5.
  • data-apikey - API key. Required to access results from Europeana or DPLA.
  • data-show-img - Whether images should be displayed next to the results.
  • data-show-date - Whether date should be displayed next to the results (right now available only for FBC+ provider)
  • data-init-disabled - (optional) disable running search on page load. Notice:
  • One of data-searchProvider or data-customSearchProvider parameters has to be defined. If both are defined widget uses data-customSearchProvider.
  • One of data-query or data-queryselector parameters has to be defined. Please read how the queries are built if both are parameters are defined.
  • The class parameter indicates that current html element will wrap widget html code. Default value is chcontext-widget-wrapper and it should not be overrided.

Building queries

  • Query is build by concatenation of data-query text and value indicated by data-queryselector.
  • if data-query="painting" and data-queryselector="h1" where h1 DOM element text is Monet then the resulting query is painting Monet.
  • try out working example (#4).
  • It is also possible to build more complex queries by using value indicated by data-queryselector inside of the query defined in data-query. You should define data-queryselector and type $$ inside of data-query text, in place where you want the value of data-queryselector to appear.
  • if data-query="painting AND creator:$$ and data-queryselector="h1" where h1 DOM element text is Monet then the resulting query is painting AND creator:Monet.
  • try out working example (#3).


Style the widget

You can change the look of the widget using CSS. First check the default style to find out what classes you should use. Then use inline styling in div element:

 <div id="widget1" class="chcontext-widget-wrapper" ... style="width:100px; height:200px">

or include separate css file. Try out working example.

Add new language

Currently only English and Polish are supported. To use widget with other language you have to

  • Define JavaScript map containing labels in your language. This map should be defined in separate JS file or inside of <script type="text/javascript"> tag.
    var PSNC = PSNC || {};
    PSNC.chcontext = PSNC.chcontext || {};
    PSNC.chcontext.your_map_name = {
    "seeMore" : "your text for see more results",
    "poweredBy" : "yout text for powered by",
    "titleLabel" : "your text for title",
    "authorLabel" : "your text for author",
    "dateLabel" : "your text for date"

First two lines shoud not be removed! You have to define 4 labels: seeMore,poweredBy,titleLabel,authorLabel. If label is not defined, label in default language is used instead.

  • Define data-locale parameter. It should be equal to your_language_name from the JS code.
  • You can try out working example

Add custom search provider

  • Define JavaScript object with your implentation of search function.
  • search function should return results object. Structure of this object can be found here.
  • Define data-customSearchProvider parameter. It should conatain the name of your search provider object.

Try out working example

###Refresh search results on demand The default behaviour is to run search when jQuery $( document ).ready() event occurs. It is also possible to manually call the search action. To do so please use PSNC.chcsearch.refresh method. You shoud pass jQuery object pointing to the widget you wish to refresh as an argument.

Try out working example

In this example search for query=picture is run on page load. You can rerun search with different query string by typing it into input box and clicking Refresh! button. JavaScript code changes the data-query attribute of widget div element and then calls PSNC.chcsearch.refresh method.

You can also disable running search on page load by setting data-init-disabled to true and calling PSNC.chcsearch.refresh method manually instead.

##Sites Using the Widget

Check out sites using WP-CHContext (our widget as a Wordpress plugin).

Let us know if you are using the widget :)

Release notes


  • Added method allowing to refresh results on demand.
  • Added option to disable running search on page load.
  • Introduced unit tests.
  • Updated CSS styles - size of an image on the results list should no longer be overrided by other styles.


  • Query can be parameterized with $$, which will be replaced by text indicated by a query selector.


  • Initial release.


Web widget for searching objects of cultural heritage.







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