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OCLC and Internet Archive work together to ensure future sustainability of Persistent URLs

New sustainable service hosted by Internet Archive will manage PURLs

DUBLIN, Ohio, 27 September 2016—OCLC and Internet Archive today announced the results of a year-long cooperative effort to ensure the future sustainability of purl.org. The organizations have worked together to build a new sustainable service hosted by Internet Archive that will manage persistent URLs and sub-domain redirections for purl.org, purl.com, purl.info and purl.net.

Since its introduction by OCLC in 1995, purl.org has become a key part of the Web, providing a source of Persistent URLs (PURLs) that redirect users to the correct hosting location for documents, data and websites as they change over time.

With more than 2,500 users, including publishing and metadata organizations such as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), purl.org has become important to the smooth functioning of the Web, data on the Web, and the Semantic Web in particular.

"We share a common belief with OCLC that what is shared on the Web should be preserved, so it makes perfect sense for us to add this important service to our set of tools and services, including the WayBack Machine, as part of our mission to promote universal access to all knowledge," said Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive.

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, Membership and Research, and Chief Strategist of OCLC, welcomed the announcement as "a major step in the future sustainability and independence of this key web infrastructure. OCLC is proud to have introduced persistent URLs and purl.org in the early days of the Web and we have continued to host and support it for the last 20 years. We welcome the move of purl.org to the Internet Archive, which will help them continue to archive and preserve the world's knowledge as it evolves."

"We appreciate OCLC's support of purl.org for more than 20 years, and we look forward to working with the Internet Archive moving forward", said Stuart Sutton, DCMI Managing Director.

All previous PURL definitions have been transferred to Internet Archive and can continue to be maintained by their owners through a new web-based interface. Continued sustainability, a new modern administration interface, and the removal or redirection of invalid URLs to a historical snapshot are significant improvements that both organizations welcome in this new service.

About the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996 with the mission to provide "Universal access to all Knowledge." The organization seeks to preserve the world's cultural heritage and to provide open access to our shared knowledge in the digital era, supporting the work of historians, scholars, journalists, students, the blind and reading disabled, as well as the general public.

For 20 years, the Internet Archive has been building a vast online library of our shared human culture. Our library now stands at more than 25 petabytes of data: 460 billion Web captures, moving images (2.2 million films and videos), audio (2.5 million recordings, 140,000 live concerts), texts (8 million texts including 3 million digital books), software (100,000 items) and television (3 million hours). Each day, 2-3 million visitors use or contribute to the archive, making it one of the world's top 250 sites. It has created new models for digital conservation by forging alliances with more than 450 libraries, universities and national archives around the world. The Internet Archive champions the public benefit of online access to our cultural heritage and the import of adopting open standards for its preservation, discovery and presentation.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


  • Bob Murphy

    Manager, Media Relations

    O: +1-614-761-5136

Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC, and Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, Membership and Research and Chief Strategist of OCLC, and Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive.