Because good research needs good data

Status message


Warning message

Just to let you know, we are no longer updating this section.
This is retained as a resource but nothing new has been added since late 2009. No further additions will be made by the DCC.


Date added 10 August 2009
Last edited 12 November 2009

Full Title

Archival Resource Key


An Archival Resource Key (ARK) persistently identifies, and enables long-term access to, digital objects through the creation of a stable URL which will not be affected by changes in the protocols, or host sites which allow access to the objects. ARK persistent identifiers can be used for any type of digital object. The methodology can also be used to persistently identify physical and intangible objects.

Standards Developing Organisation

Bibliographic Development Department, BL


No information

Lifecycle Actions

Access, Use and Reuse

Standard Frameworks

Digital Archive Standards
Digital Repository Standards

Standard Type

Identifier Standards

Current Version

Further Information

Alternative Current Versions


Previous Versions


Referenced Standards

ANVL: 2008, A Name-Value Language
IETF RFC 0854: May 1983, Telnet Protocol Specification
IETF RFC 1034: November 1987, Domain names - concepts and facilities
IETF RFC 2141: May 1997 URN Syntax
IETF RFC 2288: February 1998, Using Existing Bibliographic Identifiers as Uniform Resource Names
IETF RFC 2611: June 1999, URN Namespace Definition Mechanisms
IETF RFC 2616: June 1999, Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP/1.1
IETF RFC 2822: April 2001, Internet Message Format
IETF RFC 2915: September 2000, The Naming Authority Pointer (NAPTR) DNS Resource Record
IETF RFC 3650: November 2003, Handle System Overview
IETF RFC 3986: January 2005, Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax
IETF RFC 5013: August 2007, The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set
NLMPerm: October 2000, Defining NLMs Commitment to the Permanence of Electronic Information
NOID: February 2005, Nice Opaque Identifiers
PURL: 1996, Persistent Uniform Resource Locators
THUMP: August 2007, The HTTP URL Mapping Protocol
Z39.84 ANSI/NISO Z39.84 - Syntax for the Digital Object Identifier