VIAF (Virtual International Authority File)
The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is a joint project between OCLC, the Library of Congress, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France to explore a virtual combination of the name authorities from each institution into a single name authority service. () The project involves matching and linking the authority files for personal names. The system initially included multi-lingual, multi-script web-browser access that linked between the Personennormadatei (PND) and the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF); the national agencies control their records, which are harvested by the system. (VIAF PowerPoint, June 2006 ALA, ) In early 2008, LC announced that the Bibliothèque nationale de France was added as a principle partner to the project. (Global Partners in Project to Enhance VIAF, The Library of Congress Information Bulletin, January-February 2008, January-February 2008 - Vol. 67, Nos. 1-2, )
The system was designed to be scalable for any number of national authority files. A stated purpose of the combined virtual file is that "Users in either country will be able to view name records as established by the other nation, thus making the authorities truly international and facilitating research across languages anywhere in the world" () and "to include authoritative names from many libraries into a global service that will be freely available via the Web to users worldwide." (Global Partners in Project to Enhance VIAF, The Library of Congress Information Bulletin, January-February 2008, January-February 2008 - Vol. 67, Nos. 1-2, )
The matching and verification algorithms of the names in the files was quite complex and included data elements from both authority and bibliographic records to create enhanced authority records, which increased accuracy in the matching. (VIAF (Virtual International Authority File): Linking Die Deutsche Bibliothek and Library of Congress Name Authority Files, Rick Bennett OCLC Online Computer Library Center Dublin, Ohio USA Christina Hengel-Dittrich Die Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main Germany Edward T. O’Neill OCLC Online Computer Library Center Dublin, Ohio USA Barbara B. Tillett Library of Congress Washington, D.C. USA, WORLD LIBRARY AND INFORMATION CONGRESS: 72ND IFLA GENERAL CONFERENCE AND COUNCIL 20-24 August 2006, Seoul, Korea, )
The prototype system is available at http://viaf.org/.