Viva la VIAF! Encore

June 25th, 2009 by Karen

The Virtual International Authority File at viaf.org now contains personal names from sixteen different authority files! When I last blogged about the file last April, there were only four: Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, and the National Library of Sweden. Names depend on context, and VIAF is providing a great view of what each form is within a given national context.

The additions (some are test files):

Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt)
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
Biblioteca Nacional de España
National Library of Australia (an RLG Partner)
National Library of the Czech Republic
National Library of Israel (four files, one each of Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Latin characters)
Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico (Italy)
Swiss National Library (an RLG Partner)
Vatican Library

We’re getting more crystalline structures that show the matching among the files. The image below for Spinoza shows the mapping among the preferred forms of name from ten different files. Try it out!

Click to see the full-sized image.

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One Response to “Viva la VIAF! Encore”

  1. Stephen Hearn Says:

    I agree that the VIAF is now very intersting. It could become part of a feedback system. Will we begin constructing and updating LCNAF authorities with an eye to making them play well not just in the LCNAF but also in the VIAF? Will matches made and not made in VIAF proliferate back to their home catalogs (e.g., enabling DNB to merge its three authorities for bookman John Carter)? Will it enable WCIdentities to merge more of its bib-derived entity records, based on matches to foreign authorized forms merged in the VIAF? Fascinating, and full of possibilities.