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Used to store seeds for the next harvest, granaries are common in developing countries. Granaries, such as this one, were the inspiration for the eGranary, which “stores the seeds of knowledge.”

The eGranary Digital Library — “The Internet in a Box” — is an off-line information store that provides instant access to over 32 million Internet resources to institutions lacking adequate Internet access. Through a process of copying web sites (with permission) and delivering them to partner institutions in developing countries, this digital library delivers instant access to a wide variety of educational resources including video, audio, books, journals, and Web sites.

There are two major types of eGranaries: servers that connect to wired or wireless local area networks (LANs) and can serve thousands of patrons; and stand-alone USB drives that connect to a single computer. Both have a built-in proxy and search engine that emulates the Internet experience. Both include built-in tools for subscribers to upload local materials as well as create and edit unlimited Web sites.

The eGranary Digital Library was founded in 2001 at the University of Iowa and is developed by WiderNet, a nonprofit based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and affiliated with the School of Information and Library Science at UNC, Chapel Hill.

The eGranary is installed in more than 1,000 schools, clinics, and universities in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Haiti and other locations. It is also installed in ten correctional institutions in the U.S. The project aims to expand its installations to thousands of schools, hospitals and universities in under-served areas around the globe.

For more details about some of our projects, click here here

For a more in-depth history and background, click here.

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