Virtual International Authority File


November 28, 2021

The Virtual International Authority File (acronym: VIAF) is an international project managed by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) which constitutes a database of controlled authority entries from various national catalogs.


The aim of the project is to merge individual national authority entries into a single virtual entry and thus link coincident records from different datasets. The service is provided free of charge to users, who can search for an author, for example, using the form of the name used in their own language, or in another script or alphabet, then immediately accessing the corresponding national or international catalogs to view the list of their works. .


Initially sponsored by the US Library of Congress and the German Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB), it is now supported by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC); Numerous other libraries and projects have subsequently joined, for a total of 48 contributors, including the Central Institute for the single catalog of Italian libraries and bibliographic information (ICCU) and the Wikidata project. Vatican Apostolic Library (BAV) Russian State Library Biblioteca Nacional de España National Library of Portugal (BNP) National Library of Israel (NLI) Swedish National Library (KB) Swiss National Library (NL) Széchényi National Library Bibliotheca Alexandrina Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) National Library of the Czech Republic Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) Central Institute for the Single Catalog of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information (ICCU) Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Library of Congress (representing the Name Authority Cooperative Program for Cooperative Cataloging, NACO) National Library of Australia Narodowy Uniwersalny Katalog Centralny (NUKAT) RERO Système universitaire de documentation (SUDoc) Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) Central Vlaamse Catalogus (VLACC) Wikidata

Being studied




(EN) Barbara B. Tillett, A Virtual International Authority File (PDF) (abstract), in Proceedings of the 67th IFLA Council and General Conference Libraries and Librarians: Making a Difference in the Knowledge Age, Boston, August 16-25, 2001 , August 22, 2001. Retrieved November 30, 2013. (EN) OCLC, Expanding the Concept of Universal Bibliographic Control (PDF) (abstract), Dublin, OH, OCLC, August 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2013. Giulia Manzotti, Analysis and reflections on VIAF, Virtual International Authority File (abstract), in Italian magazine of librarianship, archival and information science, vol. 1, no. 2, Florence, University - Department of History, Archeology, Geography, Art and Entertainment, 15 December 2010, DOI: 10.4403 /, ISSN 2038-1026. Retrieved November 30, 2013. Michael Kelley, Meredith Schwartz, VIAF Service Transitions To OCLC (abstract), in Library Journal, vol. 137, n. 8, Plain City, Media Source, May 1, 2012, p. 16, ISSN 0363-0277. Retrieved November 30, 2013. Barbara Tillet, Authority control, state of the art and new perspectives (PDF), Authority control: definition and international experiences, Florence, 10-12 February 2003. Proceedings of the conference, Florence, Florence University Press, pp. 29-45. Retrieved January 17, 2015.

Related items

Authority control

Other projects

Wikimedia Commons contains images or other files on Virtual International Authority File

External links

(EN) Official site, on

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