Opening speaker: Adventures in Time and DSpace

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Tansley, Robert 

DSpace has come a long way since its beginnings at HP Labs and MIT Libraries. Originally, DSpace was designed to be "digital shelf space" for the volumes of intellectual output from MIT that are in digital rather than paper form, for example datasets and rich media, in addition to text. This goal was clearly not limited to MIT: universities, research institutions and many other kinds of organisation face the same challenges. Not only does this mean that DSpace could be of value to those organisations: these organisations represent a vast pool of resources, and who might not be able to build such a system from scratch by themselves, but would certainly be able to contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of an existing system. Thus, the vision for DSpace was born: Build a "breadth-first" system to tackle the problems in a relatively simple way; then release the system as open source, allowing the globally dispersed community of researchers and developers to add depth, giving the system longevity and growth not possible from one institution working alone. This vision appears to have been well-founded. DSpace is now used by around 100 organisations in 28 countries worldwide, with around 40 individuals having contributed to development. New developments are contributed on a weekly basis, and numerous research projects with forward-looking goals are growing around the DSpace nucleus. DSpace has made the transition to a vibrant open source project, its future and growth assured by the size of our community. In this talk I will give a brief history of DSpace, and give a snapshot of our community today. I'll then describe some of the opportunities and challenges faced by our community moving forward.

DSpace development, DSpace community, DSpace history
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