Friday, June 13, 2003

DSpace again

DATA PRESERVATION "A leading example of this is the DSpace project, which has produced the open-source digital repository system, DSpace. This stores intellectual output in multiple formats, from computer simulations to journal papers, and became operational at the end of last year following a two-year collaboration between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries and Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. It is described as a specialised type of digital asset management system that manages and distributes digital items comprised of 'bitstreams' (thereby resolving most future hardware compatibility problems)...'The DSpace system at MIT has policies for what we promise to preserve (i.e. open, popular, standards-based formats like TIFF and ASCII), and those that we will try our best to preserve but can't promise (e.g. Microsoft, etc). Lots of formats fall somewhere in between (e.g. Adobe PDF) so there we make judgement calls...Some will be possible, cheap even, to mass-migrate forward with time. Others will have to be emulated because they aren't really formats (video games or simulations, for example). It's going to be years before we really understand how to preserve these things.'

The MIT Libraries have announced the 'DSpace Federation,' a collaboration with six other major North American research universities and also Cambridge University in the UK (which will be focusing on the regeneration problem), to take the technology further, for which it has received a $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The plan now is to extend the scope of DSpace by encouraging other organisations to install it, run repositories and help to further develop its adaptability and potential for 'federated collections' - distributed digital libraries held on DSpace repositories in different locations. " Also talks about other projects at the Library of Congress, Havard University and Joint Information Systems Committee.
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