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The DONA Foundation (DONA) was constituted as a non-profit organization in Geneva, Switzerland on January 20, 2014 and registered with the Régistre du Commerce of the Confédération Suisse on February 21, 2014. DONA is multi-stakeholder in character and, except as otherwise required by Swiss law applicable to non-profit organizations, shall not be under the control of one or several governments.

As set forth in its Statutes, the purpose of DONA is to provide management, software development and other services for the technical coordination, evolution, application and other use in the public interest of the Digital Object (DO) Architecture, including its logical extensions and follow-ons, with a mission to promote interoperability across heterogeneous information systems. The DO Architecture is non-proprietary and consists of three major components, including a distributed identifier and resolution capability for managing information in digital form structured as “digital objects” (or more abstractly “digital entities”) and related security information. In this respect, it is important to distinguish between the DO Architecture as such, and various implementations of its components that may be subject to proprietary claims.

Within its purpose, one of DONA’s roles is to administer an implementation of the identifier/resolution component of the DO Architecture (called the Handle System®). Specifically, DONA is authorized to provide for the overall administration, maintenance, and coordination of Handle System identifier, registration and resolution services, including, in particular, the operation of the Global Handle Registry (GHR), and is tasked with authorizing, credentialing and coordinating organizations around the world known as Multi-Primary Administrators.

Announcing the start of GHR operations on a multi-primary basis


The DONA Foundation is delighted to announce that the Global Handle Registry (GHR) is now operating on a Multi-Primary Administrator (MPA) basis. The cutover from a single administrator (CNRI) to multiple administrators took place on 9 December 2015, and is expected to have very little impact on existing Handle System users. Existing handles (including prefix handles) will continue to resolve and existing prefix holders should see no interruption of their handle services.

Acquiring a new handle prefix


Current and future Handle System users that want to have new handle prefixes allotted to them should select an MPA from the list of DONA accredited MPAs and contact that MPA for information.

Last update 18 June 2017