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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]

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