The Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) is housed at the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC) at Texas A&M University. As a hub of humanities research nodes, ARC contains resources spanning the bulk of existing Western written documents, from medieval times to the early 20th century. Each ARC node contains data about existing documents, scanned page images (with text transcriptions), scholarly research related to the node’s documents, and teaching and research tools, including open-source software, that helps humanities researchers to work with digital text and images. ARC coordinates the various resources of the nodes, combining them into a single catalog of metadata, images, and texts, and the ARC nodes provide peer-review for research projects derived from the ARC resources. The goals of the ARC team at the IDHMC are four-fold:
- To support the aggregation of high-quality, scholarly research materials into one Solr index;
- To ensure the creation of, and adherence to, metadata standards that reflect the growing humanities community online, yet also guarantee inclusivity by ensuring comprehensibility and technical consultation;
- To sustain Collex, Typewright, and other node-specific software through various means;
- To coordinate collaborative efforts within and between the ARC nodes
To summarize, ARC is an overarching organization that provides support, coordination, and a set of evolving standards for five period-specific virtual research environments (VRE’s), or nodes.