The Walters Art Museum Persistent URLs (PURLs)

Persistent URLs (PURLs)

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the accessibility and durability of online resources have become essential for seamless information sharing, research, and communication. Persistent URLs (PURLs) have emerged as a pivotal solution to address the challenges of link rot and resource instability.

The Walters Art Museum provides stable and unchanging web addresses, PURLs, to ensure that valuable online content remains accessible over time, despite changes in underlying technologies, server locations, or web platforms. Persistent URLs are guaranteed to point to the desired resource. To avoid these challenges, we recommend that you use PURLs when citing artworks from the Walters collection, and volumes of the Journal of the Walters Art Museum. Especially in print, using persistent URLs can ensure a reliable reference to the relevant information.

The museum publishes a several types of PURLs, described in more detail below:

  • Art: points to a web page about an object from the museum collection
    • Manuscript: a sub-type of art, used for digitized manuscripts.
      • Browse: points to all manuscript images in order
      • Description: an HTML description of the manuscript
      • TEI: TEI XML description of the manuscript
      • Data: directory of image data
      • Image: points to a specific image of a manuscript
  • Journal: points to a volume of the Journal of the Walters Art Museum


The Walters publishes details about the artworks in the collection, including conservation and exhibition histories, and downloadable images. Each published artwork has its own PURL, corresponding with the unique accession number for that object. For example, points to a web page about the object whose accession number is 57.942, Laurel Leaves Brooch by Rene Lalique

Manuscript PURLs

The Walters Art Museum houses an extraordinary collection of some 850 illuminated manuscripts from diverse cultures around the world. Full digital surrogates of many of these manuscripts are available

Each manuscript is provided with Persistent URLs (PURLs). PURLs are guaranteed to always direct to the requested resource. There are four types of PURLs for each manuscript:

Manuscript Browse
this address points to the browse page, which lists all manuscript images in order; for example
Manuscript Data
this type of PURL points to the directory where images of the manuscript can be found; for example, points to
Manuscript Image
Data is partial PURL and can be combined with relative paths to specific images files; for example, points to
Manuscript TEI
this type of PURL points to the TEI XML manuscript description of the manuscript; for example, points to The XML TEI file contains the relative image paths that can be used in conjunction with the data PURLs to access all of a manuscript's images.
Manuscript Description
this type of PURL points to an HTML version of the manuscript's description; for example, The HTML manuscript description is derived from the XML TEI file.

For full documentation of the digitized manuscripts, consult

Journal PURLs

The Journal of the Walters Art Museum, the oldest continuously published scholarly art museum journal in the United States, is now available as an open-access digital publication. Each of the online volumes of the Journal has a PURL. For example, points to