Just like any URL in any citation, while it is no guarantee of continued access, it does give the reader a fighting chance. Even if it’s not a perma-link, I have found URL’s helpful in better understanding a source of information, and often in gaining access to the new home of the source. Especially in academia, where domains don’t change much I’ve used a domain-limited browser searching to get to a finding aid that has moved. Plugging something like "William Ashbrook Collection" site:ou.edu into Google (or its successor) will probably get me to the finding aid even years from now.
A note on the URL in the archival finding aid citation practice that we established at Harvard: staff should know to use the URL that shows up when one clicks on “citation” in our public user interface rather than copying the address bar in their browser. This link starts with “id.harvard.edu.” All such are a perma-links. When we migrate away from ArchivesSpace, the links will resolve to the new platform.
A followup to my question on citing archival resources. The data on our PDF finding aids is being transferred to Archives Space and although I can currently still get the PDF of a finding aid it may be taken offline someday. For example, this finding aid has had all of its data transferred and so its PDF is not available to the public.
How would I cite something from this? (Practically, there’s nothing to cite here except for the fact he’s a collector, so I doubt I’ll be able to create an actual name authority for the person, but for the purposes of the question let’s pretend there is.)
Cataloger, Monographs and Electronic Resources
Associate Professor of Bibliography
Description & Access Department
University of Oklahoma
Co-ordinator, Oklahoma (Tornado) NACO Funnel
Co-owner, PERSNAME-L, the list about personal names in bibliographic and authority records