Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More on WiderNet and eGranary

Jeffrey Thomas, Africa: 'Internet in a Box' Brings Information to Developing World,, July 17, 2007.  Excerpt:

Since the year 2000, the University of Iowa has been trying to bring the benefits of the Internet to parts of the world where access is minimal and/or expensive.

The university's WiderNet Project manages the eGranary Digital Library, which places Web resources on a server on university campuses in developing countries that have little or no Internet connectivity. Based at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, the eGranary Digital Library manually updates its library at least twice each year on campus intranets in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan and Haiti....

The eGranary Digital Library is often called "The Internet in a Box" because it offers offline approximately 10 million educational resources from more than 1,000 Web sites, including OpenCourseWare from course offerings by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Project Gutenberg's complete collection of classic literature and the entire Wikipedia Web site. The eGranary's interfaces are streamlined for easy navigation and offer a comprehensive search engine. All materials - including 40,000 books in their entirety and 150 to 200 full text journals with their archives - are included with the author or publisher's permission. Many would be prohibitively expensive for a library in the developing world to own.

The eGranary's 750 gigabytes of storage space hold the largest collection of informational materials available on a server that can be accessed without an Internet connection....