The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has recently launched the OAI-PMH compliant IDRC Digital Library (IDL), a DSpace institutional repository. The digital library has been developed to enhance the dissemination of research outputs created as a result of Centre-funded research. The repository has a number of unique qualities. It is the public bibliographic database of a Canadian research funding organization, its subject focus is international development and the content is retrospective, dating back to the early 1970s. Intellectual property issues have been a major factor in the development of the repository. Copyright ownership of a majority of IDL content is held by developing world institutions and researchers. The digitization of content and its placement in the open access IDL has involved obtaining permissions from hundreds of copyright holders located in Africa, Asia and Latin America. IDRC has determined that obtaining permissions and populating the repository with developing world researchers’ outputs will help to improve scholarly communication mechanisms for Southern researchers. The expectation is that the IDL will make a contribution to bridging the South to South and South to North knowledge gap. The IDRC Digital Library will serve as a dissemination channel that will improve the visibility, accessibility and research impact of southern research.