Escutcheon Columbia University Libraries Digital Program
CUL Name Resolver

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Name Resolver/URN Implementation

In Fall 2000 the Libraries implemented a name resolver application which is now used for access to both licensed and free electronic resources in our digital collections. The name resolver allows the creation of persistent URLs (URNs) for display in the library's OPAC and in Web presentations of electronic resources. Maintenance and updating of actual e-resource URLs & addresses are now handled by library systems staff in special directory tables referenced by the name resolution scripts, rather than in the library's catalog.

As part of the name resolver's implementation, a one time global update was done against the online catalog in order to add local 956 fields (parallel to MARC 856 fields) containing URNs to all existing catalog records for eresources. New and changed catalog records are now identified on a weekly schedule and updated with 956 fields containing URNs. The same process generates a data feed used to update the actual name resolver tables and to flag resources that require "proxying" and other types of authorization-related maintenance. A recent enhancement to the system allows for real-time ad-hoc assignment of URNs by non-systems staff, e.g., when placing newly scanned articles and folders on electronic reserve.

Log records are created for all name resolver transactions and will be used as a way of gathering more complete & consistent statistics on the use of licensed commercial web resources by the Columbia community.


Related Links

CUL Name Resolver
Technical Overview

Columbia Libraries    Digital Program
Last revision: 12/26/01
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