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HP and MIT Create Non-profit Organization to Support Growing Community of DSpace Users
DSpace Foundation's software supports creation of digital archives that provide global access and preservation for research collectionsPALO ALTO, Calif., July 17, 2007
HP and the MIT Libraries today announced the formation of the DSpace Foundation, a non-profit organization that will provide support to the growing community of institutions that use DSpace, an open source software solution for accessing, managing and preserving scholarly works in a digital archive.
Jointly developed by HP and the MIT Libraries beginning in 2002, today more than 200 projects worldwide are using the software to digitally capture, preserve and share their artifacts, documents, collections and research data.
The foundation will assume responsibility for providing leadership and support to the ever-growing DSpace community and promote even wider distribution and use. Michele Kimpton, formerly of the Internet Archive (www.archive.org), will serve as executive director of the DSpace Foundation.
Kimpton led web-archiving technology and services at the Internet Archive where, as one of its founding directors, she initiated and managed several open source software projects to collect, access and preserve web pages from national libraries and archives.
HP and the MIT Libraries began developing DSpace after MIT expressed the need for a robust software platform to digitally store its collections and valuable research data, which had previously existed only in hard copies.
Institutions can more easily share and preserve their collections with an archiving system that stores digital representations of analog artifacts, text, photos, audio and films. DSpace is a community-based open source platform capable of permanently storing data in a non-proprietary format, so researchers can access its contents for decades to come.
Because the archive is Internet-based, DSpace can be accessed from anywhere in the world via an Internet connection and federated with other archives.
"DSpace lets large institutions like libraries, research laboratories and universities preserve and share their valuable content online, creating a vast digital repository of information that allows for an unprecedented level of collaboration among the worldwide research community," said Shane Robison, HP executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer. "DSpace was born from the long-standing relationship between HP and MIT, and it's a great example of what's possible when industry and academia collaborate."
More than 200 projects around the world are using DSpace and additional projects are getting underway, including:
"The creation of the DSpace Foundation and Michele Kimpton's appointment are important steps in the evolution of DSpace," said Ann J. Wolpert, director, MIT Libraries. "Together these actions signal that both the platform and the community have successfully reached the point where an independent organization is needed to direct the project."
HP and MIT have a long history of partnering. In 2000, the organizations announced the HP-MIT Alliance, which has resulted in several ongoing research projects in the areas of nanotechnology, quantum computing, speech recognition and mobile technologies.
DSpace is one of the first open source software platforms to store, manage and distribute its collections in digital format. As much of the world’s content is now being developed and disseminated in digital format, the DSpace software supports next-generation digital archiving that is more permanent and shareable than current analog archives. DSpace can support a wide variety of artifacts, including books, theses, 3D digital scans of objects, photographs, film, video, research data sets and other forms of content.
Archives created using DSpace can be federated, linking to each other so that researchers in one location can easily and quickly search and view pieces of another archive’s collection, thus enabling researchers to utilize remote collections without having to travel to the archive where they are stored. DSpace is available to anyone free of charge under the BSD open source license, which allows research institutions to run it as-is or to modify and extend it as needed. More information on DSpace is available at www.dspace.org.
About the MIT Libraries
The MIT Libraries are actively engaged in tackling the challenges of the 21st century library. They are at the forefront of both digital library research and the innovative use of technology for core library functions, and play a key role in the definition of technology used in academic activities at MIT.
The MIT Libraries’ Digital Libraries Research Group conducts research in technology and other aspects of digital libraries, furthering library, scholarly and educational initiatives. Their work includes research on applications of the semantic web, the data grid to digital libraries and data curation. To learn more about the MIT Libraries’ research initiatives, see: http://libraries.mit.edu/dlrg/.
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DSpace is a trademark of the DSpace Foundation
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