COVID-19 | Information and resources to help
Skip to page content.
VIAF Council
Connect authority data across cultures and languages to facilitate research.
Access VIAF

Simplify the management of authority data
The VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) service provides libraries and library users with convenient access to the world’s major name authority files. VIAF Contributors regularly supply authority data that VIAF matches, links, and groups. All descriptions for a given entity are merged into a cluster that brings together the different names for that entity. This service allows researchers to identify names, locations, works, and expressions while preserving regional preferences for language, spelling, and script.
Learn more about contributing to VIAF

Collaborate with other libraries to increase access to information
VIAF Contributors include national libraries, cultural agencies, and other major institutions from around the world. The data of more than 40 organizations from more than 30 countries is represented in VIAF. These Contributors participate in the governance of VIAF through the VIAF Council, which provides guidance on the policies, practices, and operation of VIAF.
Learn more about VIAF governance

Join a trusted global authority file
The United States Library of Congress, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, and OCLC began a proof-of-concept project to link their authority records in April 1998. After four years of testing authority file linking, this group formed the VIAF Consortium at the 69th IFLA General Conference in August 2003. The Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the consortium in October 2007.The four original VIAF Consortium members served as Principals, while other organizations joined as contributors.
In 2012, the 22 VIAF Principals and Contributors in 18 countries worked with OCLC as VIAF transitioned into an OCLC service. With advice from the VIAF Council, OCLC maintains the hosting, software, and data for VIAF. VIAF continues to grow in both number of Contributors and worldwide representation.
The VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) combines multiple name authority files into a single OCLC-hosted name authority service. The goal of the service is to lower the cost and increase the utility of library authority files by matching and linking widely used authority files and making that information available online.
Service availability
Available everywhere
Learn more
Visit the VIAF website to learn more
See the 2012 press release about VIAF transitioning to OCLC
About OCLC
Latest news
Financial Statements and Reports
OCLC Technology
Advancing racial equity
Next blog
Contact Us
Upcoming events
Upcoming webinars
Information for
Academic libraries
Public libraries
Research libraries
Special libraries
Groups and consortia
Libraries and groups
WorldShare Management Services
WorldShare Interlibrary Loan
WorldCat Discovery
OCLC Cataloging Subscription
Dewey Services
All products and services »
Visit related sites
Support & Training
OCLC Community Center
OCLC Research
Developer Network
President's Leadership Blog
About Careers
View open positions in the Americas
View open positions in Europe and Asia Pacific

© 2021 OCLC
Domestic and international trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC, Inc. and its affiliates
Privacy statement
Cookie notice
Cookie settings
Accessibility statement
ISO 27001 Certificate
Cookies on OCLC websites
Our web pages use cookies—information about how you interact with the site. When you select “Accept all cookies,” you’re agreeing to let your browser store that data on your device so that we can provide you with a better, more relevant experience.

Selecting “Reject unnecessary cookies” limits the data that’s stored to what’s strictly necessary for using the site. However, that may negatively impact your experience. You can also customize your cookie settings.

See our Cookie Notice for more information