Virtual International Authority File

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Virtual International Authority File
VIAF Screenshot 2012.png
Screenshot 2012
Acronym VIAF
Introduced August 6, 2003 (2003-08-06)
Managing organisation OCLC
Example 70042340

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][2]

The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress (LC), the German National Library (DNB) and the OCLC on August 6, 2003. The National Library of France (BnF) joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitions to a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012.[3]

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 Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) protocol.

The file numbers are also being added to Wikipedia biographical articles[4] and are incorporated into Wikidata.

VIAF Clusters[edit]

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.[5]

Participating libraries and organizations[edit]

English-language name Native-language name (if non-English) Location Country
British Library London England
Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of the Italian libraries (ICCU) Italian: Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico Rome Italy
DBC (Danish Bibliographic Center) Danish: Dansk BiblioteksCenter Ballerup Denmark
Danish Agency for Culture Danish: Kulturstyrelsen Copenhagen Denmark
Flemish Public Libraries (VLACC): Bibnet (nl) Dutch: Vlaamse Centrale Catalogus Brussels Belgium
German National Library (DNB) German: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Frankfurt Germany
Union List of Artist Names [Getty Research Institute] (ULAN [GRI]) Los Angeles, California United States
ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) London United Kingdom
Israel Museum Hebrew: מוזיאון ישראל Jerusalem Israel
Lebanese National Library Arabic: المكتبة الوطنية Beirut Lebanon
Library and Archives Canada French: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Library of Alexandria, Egypt Arabic: مكتبة الإسكندرية Alexandria Egypt
Library of Congress (NACO consortium) Washington, D.C. United States
National Agricultural Library Beltsville, Maryland United States
National and University Library in Zagreb Croatian: Nacionalna i sveučilišna knjižnica u Zagrebu Zagreb Croatia
National Library Board, Singapore Singapore
National Central Library, Taiwan Chinese: 國家圖書館 Taipei Taiwan
National Diet Library, Japan Japanese: 国立国会図書館 Tokyo and Kyoto Japan
National Library and Archives of Québec French: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec Quebec Canada
National Library of Australia Canberra Australia
National Library of Catalonia Catalan: Biblioteca de Catalunya Barcelona Spain
National Library of Chile Spanish: Biblioteca Nacional de Chile Santiago Chile
National Library of France French: Bibliothèque nationale de France Paris France
National Library of Ireland Irish: Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann Dublin Ireland
National Library of Israel Hebrew: הספרייה הלאומית Jerusalem Israel
National Library of Korea Korean: 국립중앙도서관 Seoul Korea
National Library of Latvia Latvian: Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka Rīga Latvia
National Library of Luxembourg
  • Luxembourgish: Nationalbibliothéik Lëtzebuerg
  • French: Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg
Luxembourg City Luxembourg
National Library of Medicine Bethesda, Maryland United States
National Library of Mexico Spanish: Biblioteca Nacional de México Mexico City Mexico
National Library of Morocco
  • Arabic: المكتبة الوطنية للمملكة المغربية
  • French: Bibliothèque nationale du Royaume du Maroc
Rabat Morocco
National Library of the Netherlands Dutch: Koninklijke Bibliotheek The Hague Netherlands
National Library of New Zealand Wellington New Zealand
National Library of Norway: BIBSYS Norwegian: Nasjonalbiblioteket: BIBSYS Trondheim Norway
National Library of Poland Polish: Biblioteka Narodowa Warsaw Poland
National Library of Portugal Portuguese: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal Lisbon Portugal
National Library of Russia Russian: Российская государственная библиотека Moscow Russia
National Library of Scotland Edinburgh Scotland
National Library of South Africa Afrikaans: Staats-Bibliotheek der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Cape Town and Pretoria South Africa
National Library of Spain Spanish: Biblioteca Nacional de España Madrid Spain
National Library of Sweden Swedish: Kungliga Biblioteket Stockholm Sweden
National Library of Wales Welsh: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru Aberystwyth Wales
National Library of the Czech Republic Czech: Národní knihovna České republiky Prague Czech Republic
National Széchényi Library, Hungary Hungarian: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár Budapest Hungary
Perseus Project Medford, Massachusetts United States
RERO - Library Network of Western Switzerland
  • German: Westschweizer Bibliothekverbund
  • French: Réseau des bibliothèques de Suisse occidentale
  • Italian: Rete delle bibliotheche della Svizzera occidentale
Martigny Switzerland
Sudoc [ABES], France French: Système universitaire de documentation France
Syriac Reference Portal Nashville, Tennessee United States
Swiss National Library
  • German: Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek
  • French: Bibliothèque nationale suisse
  • Italian: Biblioteca nazionale svizzera
  • Romansh: Biblioteca naziunala svizra
Berne Switzerland
NUKAT Center of Warsaw University Library (pl) Polish: Narodowy Uniwersalny Katalog Centralny Poland
Vatican Library Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana Vatican City
Wikidata San Francisco, California United States

Libraries added for testing purposes[edit]

English-language name Native-language name (if non-English) Location Country
National Institute of Informatics Japanese: 国立情報学研究所 Tokyo Japan
National and University Library of Iceland (NULI) Icelandic: Háskólabókasafn Reykjavík Iceland

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kelley, Michael; Schwartz, Meredith (2012). "VIAF service transitions to OCLC". Library Journal. Media Source. 137 (8): 16. 
  2. ^ VIAF, OCLC .
  3. ^ Murphy, Bob (April 4, 2012). "Virtual International Authority File service transitions to OCLC; contributing institutions continue to shape direction through VIAF Council". OCLC. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  4. ^ "VIAFbot Edits 250,000 Wikipedia Articles to Reciprocate All Links from VIAF into Wikipedia". OCLC. 2012-12-07. 
  5. ^ Hickey, Thomas B.; Toves, Jenny A. (July 2014). "Managing Ambiguity in VIAF". D-Lib Magazine. CNRI. 20 (7/8). doi:10.1045/july2014-hickey. 

External links[edit]