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n. ~ A specialized content management system that allows different communities to use the web to capture, distribute, and preserve digital works and to provide access to those works through metadata.


DSpace, short for Durable Space, was developed at MIT as an institutional repository. DSpace builds portals for specific communities, allowing a community to set policies for the content and access to the works within the repository. This emphasis enables the portal to reflect a community's practices and terminology. DSpace allows any type of digital object to be submitted but promises that only a limited set of formats will remain renderable; nonsupported objects will be preserved as a bitstream, placing the responsibility for maintaining the usefulness of the file on the creator. See

(C Lynch 2003, DSpace identifies two levels of digital preservation: bit preservation, and functional preservation. Bit preservation ensures that a file remains exactly the same over time – not a single bit is changed – while the physical media evolve around it. Functional preservation goes further: the file does change over time so that the material continues to be immediately usable in the same way it was originally while the digital formats (and the physical media) evolve over time. Some file formats can be functionally preserved using straightforward format migration (e.g. TIFF images or XML documents). Other formats are proprietary, or for other reasons are much harder to preserve functionally