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7/18/2007
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DSpace Foundation Created To Digitally Preserve Research Collections

HP and the MIT Libraries jointly started the DSpace community in 2002 by creating open source software for accessing, managing, and preserving scholarly works in digital archives.

The DSpace community, a non-profit organization that supports the digital preservation of research collections, has grown to the point that the organization's founders " the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hewlett Packard -- have created the DSpace Foundation to support the growing community.

HP and the MIT Libraries jointly started the DSpace community in 2002 by creating open source software for accessing, managing, and preserving scholarly works in digital archives, said Heather Denny, a spokesperson for the MIT Libraries. "The software was put out and taken up worldwide," she said. "Now there is a need to bring it all together."

The Foundation, which was announced Tuesday, will provide leadership and support for the growing DSpace community. Michelle Kimpton, a former official of the Internet Archive, has been named executive director of the new foundation.

More than 200 research institutions are participating in the DSpace effort. They range from the Texas Digital Library and the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education to the China Digital Museum.

In a statement noting the creation of the foundation, Ann J. Wolpert, director, MIT Libraries, said the "actions signal that both the platform and the community have successfully reached the point where an independent organization is needed to direct the project."

DSpace archives can be linked to let researchers to search across other repositories. The effort supports next-generation digital format archiving that is more permanent and shareable than current analog archives. The archive is available for free of charge searching under BSD open source licensing.

"DSpace lets large institutions like libraries, research laboratories, and universities preserve and share their valuable content online," said Shane Robison, HP executive VP and chief strategy and technology officer, in a statement. "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."

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