Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Support for the eGranary Digital Library

The University of Iowa WiderNet Project has received a $225,000 grant from the Hewlett Foundation to further develop the eGranary Digital Library (blogged here on May 18). From yesterday's press release:
"This grant will enable us to grow the eGranary Digital Library, a new way to deliver the world's knowledge to those most in need," said Cliff Missen, who oversees the eGranary Digital Library as director of the WiderNet Project. The eGranary Digital Library puts millions of documents instantly at the fingertips of scholars in developing countries without using an Internet connection. Missen said few schools in the developing world have adequate connections to the Internet, and those that do spend enormous amounts of money for slow and unreliable connections. The eGranary Digital Library overcomes this problem by storing huge amounts of information on hard drives inside a school's internal network. It contains books, websites, journals, movies and audio files from hundreds of contributing authors and publishers who freely contribute to help bridge the digital divide. "It's hard for us in the U.S. to imagine, but only one out of seven people in the world has access to the Internet," Missen said. "What we do is take educational information from the Internet and -- with the publisher's permission -- distribute these resources to schools, clinics and libraries in the developing world. We plan to grow the eGranary Digital Library collection to more than 10 million documents and install it in hundreds of schools, hospitals and universities."