Virtual International Authority File
For use of VIAF with Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Authority control and Wikipedia:VIAF/errors.
The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).[1]
Virtual International Authority File

Screenshot 2012
Introduced6 August 2003
Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1800s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities. This would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process.[2]
The VIAF concept was introduced at the 2003 World Library and Information Congress, hosted by the International Federation of Library Associations.[3] The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress (LC), the German National Library (DNB) and the OCLC on 6 August 2003.[4][5] The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) joined the project on 5 October 2007.
The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on 4 April 2012.[6]
The aim is to link the national authority files (such as the German Name Authority File) to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, and refers to the original authority records. The data are made available online and are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives InitiativeProtocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) protocol.
The file numbers are also being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata.[7][8]
Christine L. Borgman groups VIAF with the International Standard Name Identifier and ORCID systems, describing all three as "loosely coordinated efforts to standardize name forms".[9] Borgman characterizes all three systems as attempts to solve the problem of author name disambiguation, which has grown in scale as the quantity of data multiplies.[9] She notes that VIAF, unlike the other two systems, is led by libraries, as opposed to individual authors or creators.[9]
VIAF clusters
VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month. As more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records.[10]
Participating libraries and organizations
English Wikipedia entry nameIdentifierNative-language nameLocationCountry
Bibliotheca AlexandrinaEGAXAArabic: مكتبة الإسكندريةAlexandriaEgypt
Biblioteca Nacional de ChileBNCHLSpanish: Biblioteca Nacional de ChileSantiagoChile
Biblioteca Nacional de EspañaBNESpanish: Biblioteca Nacional de EspañaMadridSpain
Biblioteca Nacional de PortugalPTBNPPortuguese: Biblioteca Nacional de PortugalLisbonPortugal
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du QuébecB2QFrench: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du QuébecQuebecCanada
Bibliothèque nationale de FranceBnFFrench: Bibliothèque nationale de FranceParisFrance
Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc (BNRM)MRBNRArabic: المكتبة الوطنية للمملكة المغربية
French: Bibliothèque nationale du Royaume du Maroc
Biografisch PortaalBPNDutch: Biografisch PortaalThe HagueNetherlands
British LibraryLondonEngland
Danish Agency for Culture and PalacesDanish: KulturstyrelsenCopenhagenDenmark
Danish Bibliographic CentreDBCDanish: Dansk BiblioteksCenterBallerupDenmark
German National Library (DNB)GNDGerman: Deutsche NationalbibliothekFrankfurtGermany
International Standard Name Identifier[11]ISNILondonUnited Kingdom
Israel MuseumHebrew: מוזיאון ישראלJerusalemIsrael
Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo UnicoICCU
Italian: Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo UnicoRomeItaly
Lebanese National LibraryLNLArabic: المكتبة الوطنيةBeirutLebanon
Library and Archives CanadaLACFrench: Bibliothèque et Archives CanadaOttawa, OntarioCanada
Library of Congress
NACO consortium (Name Authority Cooperative Program)[12]
LCCNWashington, D.C.United States
National and University Library in ZagrebNSKCroatian: Nacionalna i sveučilišna knjižnica u ZagrebuZagrebCroatia
National and University Library of SloveniaSlovene: Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnicaLjubljanaSlovenia
National Central LibraryNCL
Chinese: 國家圖書館TaipeiTaiwan
National Diet LibraryNDLJapanese: 国立国会図書館Tokyo
National Institute of InformaticsNII
Japanese: 国立情報学研究所TokyoJapan
National Library BoardNLBSingapore
National Library of AustraliaNLACanberraAustralia
National Library of BrazilBLBNBPortuguese: Biblioteca Nacional do BrasilRio de JaneiroBrazil
National Library of CataloniaBNCCatalan: Biblioteca de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
National Library of EstoniaERRREstonian: Eesti RahvusraamatukoguTallinnEstonia
National and University Library of Iceland (NULI)UIYIcelandic: HáskólabókasafnReykjavíkIceland
National Library of IrelandN6IIrish: Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireannDublinIreland
National Library of IsraelNLIHebrew: הספרייה הלאומיתJerusalemIsrael
National Library of KoreaKRNLKKorean: 국립중앙도서관SeoulKorea
National Library of LatviaLNBLatvian: Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēkaRigaLatvia
National Library of LuxembourgBNLLuxembourgish: Nationalbibliothéik Lëtzebuerg
French: Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg
Luxembourg CityLuxembourg
National Library of MexicoBNMSpanish: Biblioteca Nacional de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
National Library of the NetherlandsNTADutch: Koninklijke BibliotheekThe HagueNetherlands
National Library of New ZealandWellingtonNew Zealand
National Library of NorwayBIBSYS
Norwegian: NasjonalbiblioteketTrondheimNorway
National Library of PolandNLPPolish: Biblioteka NarodowaWarsawPoland
National Library of RussiaNLRRussian: Российская национальная библиотекаSaint PetersburgRussia
National Library of ScotlandScottish Gaelic: Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba
Scots: Naitional Leebrar o Scotland
National Library of South AfricaAfrikaans: Staats-Bibliotheek der Zuid-Afrikaansche RepubliekCape Town
South Africa
National Library of SwedenSELIBRSwedish: Kungliga biblioteket - Sveriges nationalbibliotekStockholmSweden
National Library of WalesWelsh: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol CymruAberystwythWales
National Library of the Czech RepublicNKCCzech: Národní knihovna České republikyPragueCzech Republic
National Széchényi LibraryNSZLHungarian: Országos Széchényi KönyvtárBudapestHungary
Perseus ProjectPERSEUSMedford, MassachusettsUnited States
RERO (Library Network of Western Switzerland)REROGerman: Westschweizer Bibliothekverbund
French: Réseau des bibliothèques de Suisse occidentale
Italian: Rete delle bibliotheche della Svizzera occidentale
Répertoire International des Sources MusicalesRISMFrankfurtGermany
Système universitaire de documentationSUDOCFrench: Système universitaire de documentationFrance
Syriac Reference PortalSRPNashville, TennesseeUnited States
Swiss National LibrarySWNLGerman: Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek
French: Bibliothèque nationale suisse
Italian: Biblioteca nazionale svizzera
Romansh: Biblioteca naziunala svizra
Narodowy Uniwersalny Katalog Centralny, NUKAT [pl]NUKATPolish: Narodowy Uniwersalny Katalog CentralnyPoland
Union List of Artist NamesGetty Research InstituteULAN
Los Angeles, CaliforniaUnited States
United States National Agricultural LibraryNALTBeltsville, MarylandUnited States
United States National Library of MedicineBethesda, MarylandUnited States
Vatican LibraryBAVLatin: Bibliotheca Apostolica VaticanaVatican City
Vlaamse openbare bibliotheken (VLACC): Bibnet [nl]VLACCDutch: Vlaamse Centrale CatalogusBrusselsBelgium
WikidataWKPBerlin, GermanyInternational
Libraries added for testing purposes
English Wikipedia entry nameIdentifierNative-language nameLocationCountry
Lithuanian National LibraryLIHLithuanian: Lietuvos nacionalinė Martyno Mažvydo bibliotekaVilniusLithuania
National and University Library of Slovenia / COBISSSIMACOBSlovene: Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, NUKLjubljanaSlovenia
See also
  1. ^ Kelley, Michael; Schwartz, Meredith (2012). "VIAF service transitions to OCLC". Library Journal. Media Source Inc. 137 (8): 16. 
  2. ^ O'Neill, Edward T. (12 August 2016). "VIAF: Origins" (Video presentation). Authority Data on the Web, a Satellite Meeting of the 2016 IFLA World Library and Information Congress. OCLC.
  3. ^ Loesch, Martha Fallahay (28 February 2011). "The Virtual International Authority File". Technical Services Quarterly. 28 (2): 255–256. doi​:​10.1080/07317131.2011.546304​. ISSN 0731-7131. S2CID 62694070.
  4. ^ Morris, Susan R. (September 2003). "Virtual International Authority". Library of Congress Information Bulletin. Library of Congress. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  5. ^ Agnew, Grace (2008). Digital Rights Management: A Librarian's Guide to Technology and Practise. Chandos Publishing. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-84334-125-3. OCLC 62715356.
  6. ^ Murphy, Bob (4 April 2012). "Virtual International Authority File service transitions to OCLC; contributing institutions continue to shape direction through VIAF Council" (Press release). OCLC. Dublin, OH.
  7. ^ Klein, Max; Renspie, Melissa (7 December 2012). "VIAFbot Edits 250,000 Wikipedia Articles to Reciprocate All Links from VIAF into Wikipedia". OCLC.
  8. ^ Klein, Maximilian; Kyrios, Alex (14 October 2013). "VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on Wikipedia". The Code4Lib Journal (22). ISSN 1940-5758.
  9. ^ a b c Borgman 2015, p. 260.
  10. ^ Hickey, Thomas B.; Toves, Jenny A. (July 2014). "Managing Ambiguity In VIAF". D-Lib Magazine. Corporation for National Research Initiatives. 20 (7/8). doi​:​10.1045/july2014-hickey​.
  11. ^ MacEwan, Andrew (12 August 2016). "ISNI and VIAF" (Video presentation). Authority Data on the Web, a Satellite Meeting of the 2016 IFLA World Library and Information Congress. OCLC.
  12. ^ "NACO - Name Authority Cooperative Program". Library of Congress.
Borgman, Christine L. (2015). Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-32786-2. OCLC 900409008.
External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to VIAF.
Wikidata has the property:
VIAF ID (P214) (see uses)
Last edited on 3 May 2021, at 14:01
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Privacy policy
Terms of Use
HomeRandomNearbyLog inSettingsDonateAbout WikipediaDisclaimers