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New DSpace Foundation Names Executive Director

Michele Kimpton will lead the continuing development of DSpace, an open source platform to store, manage, and distribute collections in digital format. HP and MIT Libraries jointly developed the platform in 2002 and on July 17 of this year announced the formation of the nonprofit DSpace Foundation to foster further development and adoption.

More than 200 projects worldwide use the open source software to capture, store, and share their digital collections. A few of the projects underway or in development that use DSpace software are: the 2008 Virtual Olympic Museum/Beihang University, which will open in March 2008 with a collection of materials about the Beijing games; the Texas Digital Library, which provides a digital infrastructure for the scholarly activities of Texas universities; the China Digital Museum, which includes the digital objects of a federated system of 18 campus museums; the Open Repository, a managed service from BioMed Central in the UK that will build, host, and maintain institutional repositories for other institutions; and the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE), a nonprofit initiative that will host a pilot for institutions wishing to explore the potential of DSpace open source software. DSpace software is available free under the BSD open source license, which allows research institutions to run the software and to modify it or extend it as desired.

Kimpton, who will lead the new DSpace foundation as its executive director, previously led Web archiving technology and services at the Internet Archive and is a founding director of that organization. With the DSpace Foundation, she will be leading a community that is poised for development. "The creation of the DSpace Foundation and Michele Kimpton's appointment are important steps in the evolution of DSpace," says Ann J. Wolpert, director of the 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." Another reflection on the readiness of the DSpace community for the leadership of a new nonprofit foundation comes from MacKenzie Smith, the associate director for technology at MIT Libraries: "After 5 years, DSpace now has enough momentum that HP and MIT can give supervision and 'ownership' to an independent foundation made up of the community of DSpace users and open-source developers."

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