Lyrasis, a major non-profit library services organization, and DuraSpace, the non-profit organizational home for open source repository platforms DSpace and Fedora as well as the VIVO collaborative research profile platform intend to merge.
Though positioned as a merger, the transition will consist of DuraSpace becoming part of Lyrasis. Lyrasis is a much larger organization with total income of just under $79 million in 2018. DuraSpace reported total income for 2017 as $1.7 million (2016 = $2.2million; 2015 = 1.9 million; 2014 = 1.6 million). Lyrasis will establish a new division that incorporates open source projects associated with DuraSpace (DSpace, Fedora, and VIVO) and those for which it was already responsible (ArchivesSpace, CollectionSpace, SimplyE public and SimplyE academic). Lyrasis will take responsibility for DuraSpace's hosting services, including DuraCloud, DSpaceDirect, and ArchivesDirect. This part of the organization will be called the DuraSpace Community Supported Programs Division.
Lyrasis has an established track record for the governance of open source projects. The organization has received multiple grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop capacity for open source support:
- 2009: $192,000 for development of internal expertise and institutional planning.
- 2011: $486,000 to launch Lyrasis Technology Service program.
- 2012: $670,000 for the creation of resources and programs for open source decision support. This year Lyrasis became the organizational home for ArchivesSpace, a project that had been previously funded by the Mellon Foundation.
- 2014: $1.5 million for support related to becoming the institutional home for CollectionSpace, another Mellon-funded project.
The current merger planning follows a prior effort to bring the organizations together that ultimately did not come to fruition. In January 2016, the boards of the respective organizations announced an intent to merge, contingent on additional diligence assessment, member input, and final board approval. The planned merger was featured in the March 2016 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter. In May 2016, the organizations announced that the planned merger would not go forward. In the three years that have transpired, the two organizations have continued to collaborate and have concluded that merging will serve the best interests of the two organizations.