The Business of Digital Humanities: Capitalism and Enlightenment
Keywords:Advanced Research Consortium, Proprietary data companies, Literary studies
Background: The Advanced Research Consortium (ARC)
The Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) began in 2005 with the launch of the Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship (NINES), the brainchild of Jerome McGann and Bethany Nowviskie. Organized around literary and historical periods, ARC is comprised of the directors of online scholarly communities that peer review digital projects and aggregate metadata for peer reviewed and other collections into an online search portal. The five ARC search portals are NINES, 18thConnect, MESA or medieval, ModNets or modernism, and ReKN or Renaissance (the latter two are forthcoming). In this article, we will discuss partnerships that ARC has established with proprietary data companies and the possible benefits for scholars and libraries from the possibility of collaborating with companies – vendors that serve data to libraries. More important, I will argue that there is a terrible threat hanging over disciplines such as literary studies and that we need to become avid archive entrepreneurs.