The Americas Research Network (ARENET) has evolved from its founding in 1998 as the Mexico-North Research Network (MNRN) to explore issues in the north of Mexico. With projects that spanned the humanities and the sciences, MNRN worked with scholars to broaden knowledge of northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States by examining the history and art of the Spanish missions, as well as the biological, linguistic and cultural diversity of the Tarahumara region. Membership in the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) followed, along with a fellowship program focused on U.S.-Mexico Transnationalism that gave graduate students and professional scholars the opportunity to conduct research throughout Mexico. In 2011, the MNRN became the Mexico Research Network (MEXRE) with a new focus on all of Mexico that encouraged collaborative research and educational projects among scholars from Mexico, the United States, and other parts of the world. Now thanks to a very generous donation and the creation of the Betty J. Meggers Fund, MEXRE has expanded its regional scope to include the Western Hemisphere. ARENET will build on earlier efforts to continue to administer the transnational fellowship program and to develop a new grants program for South America. Its first projects include a Handbook on the borderlands of the Iberian empires of early modern history, to be published by Oxford University Press, and the development of a Digital Library of the Americas.

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