About Arca

Arca is a collaborative initiative that puts the development and implementation of a digital repository within reach for every organisation, at a reasonable cost, and in a supported environment.

Arca exists to create opportunities to share digital scholarship and heritage, and to build communities in British Columbia and beyond; for access, discovery, and knowledge creation, with cost-effective, shared infrastructure.

Through centralised coordination and a collaborative approach, Arca:

  • Ensures organisations can offer a high-quality, responsive digital repository service at an affordable cost.
  • Maximises system efficiencies through centralised licensing, expertise, best practices, and support.
  • Builds a community of practice that extends expertise, nurtures innovation and cultivates collaboration.
  • Facilitates search across digital assets from all participating organisations.
  • Seeks opportunities to strengthen and build new partnerships.

Arca is built on Islandora, a Canadian-developed open-source platform currently in use at over 100 public and private institutions worldwide. This shared platform provides organisations with open-access repositories for research, theses, and any other digital assets they wish to make available to the wider community.

Arca is made possible by a partnership between the BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) and Charlottetown, PEI-based software firm discoverygarden. Implementation was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

Since 2017, BC ELN has partnered with the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) to allow successful past and future recipients of the British Columbia History Digitization Program (BCHDP) grants the option of hosting their digitized material on Arca at no cost. In 2021, BC ELN once again partnered with IKBLC to launch the BC ELN-BCHDP Support Service, which offers vital support to prospective BCHDP grant applicants seeking to bring their unique collections online. To learn more about these partnerships, please visit the BC ELN Arca Partnerships page.

For more information about Arca, including project timelines, announcements, annual reports, etc. please visit the BC ELN website.

Questions? Contact the Arca Administrative Centre.

Full index of repository objects