Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 10 • November 2000
Mellon Foundation Grant for Digital Repository Economic Model Awarded to MIT Libraries

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has donated $215,000 to MIT to develop an economic model to maintain digital documents within an academic research library.

In partnership with the Hewlett-Packard Co., the MIT Libraries are currently creating a digital repository named DSpace. Intended to be a working digital depository, DSpace will collect and maintain the digital intellectual output of the Institute’s faculty and research staff. The Mellon Foundation grant to the MIT Libraries will increase understanding of the elements necessary to an economic model that can sustain DSpace beyond its time as a research project.

Ann J. Wolpert, MIT’s director of libraries, said: “Digital sustainability is the next great challenge for research libraries. It is essential that we gain a better understanding of the economics of maintaining an academic digital repository. Developing a ‘business’ model for DSpace will make the digital environment sustainable over time, and will serve to inform the digital initiatives at other research libraries.”

DSpace is designed to be a sustainable, scalable digital repository capable of holding the approximately 10,000 articles produced by MIT authors annually, including a large amount of multimedia content. The repository will include services not usually provided by the Web, such as access control, rights management, and flexible publishing capabilities. More information about DSpace can be found at

Source: MIT Libraries, Office of the Director, Cambridge, MA, 617/253-5651;

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