"On Friday 18th April the Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL) celebrated its 25th anniversary and launched it new organisational title: Research Libraries UK (RLUK). A warm welcome to RLUK and best wishes for the next 25 years!"Congratulations to them... well, maybe. I had a quick look for some key documents; here's a URL I forwarded to my colleagues a year or so ago: http://www.curl.ac.uk/about/E-ResearchNeedsAnalysisRevised.pdf. Or, more recently, try something on their important HEFCE UKRDS Shared Services Study: http://www.curl.ac.uk/Presentations/Manchester%20November%2007/SykesHEFCEStudy2.pdf. Both give me a big fat "Page not found". In the latter case, when I find their tiny search box, and search for UKRDS, I get "Your search yielded no results".
I am really, desperately sad about this. Remember all the fuss about URNS? Remember all we used to say about persistent IDs? Remember "Cool URIs don't change"? The message is, persistent URIs require commitment; they require care. They don't require a huge amount of effort (its simply a redirection table, after all). But libraries should be in the forefront of making this work. I have emailed RLUK, without response so far. Come on guys, this is IMPORTANT!
Oh and just in case you think this is isolated, try looking for that really important, seminal archiving report, referenced everywhere at http://www.rlg.org/ArchTF/. I had something to do with the RLG merger into OCLC that caused that particular snafu, and after making my feelings known have been told that "We're taking steps to address not only DigiNews links but those of other pages that are still referred to from other sites and personal bookmarks". The sad thing about that particular report, you might discover, is that it doesn't appear to be archived on the Wayback machine, either, I suspect because it had a ftp URL.
[UPDATE The report does now appear on the OCLC website at http://www.oclc.org/programs/ourwork/past/digpresstudy/default.htm. When I first searched for Waters Garrett from the OCLC home page a few weeks ago, I couldn't find it. I guess they haven't quite got round to building the redirection table yet... but that can take time.]