Virtual lnternational Authority File

VIAF aims to collect national authority files and assemble them as a concordance in a common database. The project was spearheaded by the Library of Congress, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in collaboration with OCLC. The Swiss National Library joined in 2009. At present the database contains only names of persons. Bodies and geographical designations will be integrated into the database in future.

The authority files of participating libraries are linked to one another automatically. Matching authority files from participating national databases is done by means of the bibliographical descriptions (title, year etc.) associated with the authority files. Access to VIAF data (beta version) is open to all and free of charge.