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Persistent Identifier Server

The CDL Technologies group is working with the Shared Cataloging staff at UC San Diego (the “DISC” unit: Digital Information and Serials Cataloging – ( to establish a prototype persistent identifier server.  The advent of Shared Cataloging highlighted the urgency of the TFER recommendation to establish and pilot the use of such a server.   Additional uses will be implemented through a broader consultative process.  Persistent identifiers use a database to associate the URL for a resource with a permanent ID.  If the URL changes, the database can be updated to reflect the new location and associate it with the persistent ID.  While references to the old URL will give the dreaded ‘404 – File not found’ error, references to the persistent identifier will still work.

The CDL server is currently using Purl software from OCLC.  More information on Purl, as well as general information on persistent identifiers, can be found at  More information on the technical aspects of this project can be obtained from Ken Weiss, CDL Technologies,  Kathy Adams, Assistant Unit Head of DISC,, can provide more information on the application of persistent IDs to the shared cataloging efforts.