November 26, 2007 Library of Congress, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and OCLC Enhance VIAF Project

Contact: John Sayers, Library of Congress, (202) 707-9216, | Bob Murphy, OCLC, (614) 761-5136,

The Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and OCLC have signed a memorandum of understanding to extend and enhance the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), a project that virtually combines multiple name authority files into a single name authority service. Building on a previous proof-of-concept research project by the Library, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (the German national library) and OCLC, the new agreement adds the Bibliothèque nationale de France (the French national library) as a principal partner in VIAF and will lead to the inclusion of content from name authority files maintained by the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The French name authority records will be added to the existing VIAF files built from authority data from the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and the Library of Congress. VIAF’s matching routines were developed by OCLC research. The long-term goal of the VIAF project is to include authoritative names from many libraries into a global service that will be freely available via the Web to users worldwide. The addition of content from Bibliothèque nationale de France represents the initial step in expanding the scope of VIAF. The newly signed agreement also provides a framework for adding more authority files from other agencies over time. VIAF represents a significant step toward interoperability among library bibliographic agencies. By linking disparate names for the same person or organization, VIAF will in the near-term provide a convenient means for a wider community of libraries and agencies to better repurpose bibliographic data produced by libraries in English-, French-, and German-speaking communities, and is expected to provide the same advantages to a wider assortment of language communities in the years to come. Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit library membership and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent and preservation services to 60,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (the German National Library) is the central archival library and national bibliographic center for the Federal Republic of Germany. Its task, unique in Germany, is to collect, permanently archive, comprehensively document and record bibliographically without gap all German and German-language publications from 1913 on and to make them available to the public. The German National Library maintains co-operative external relations on the national and international level. More information is at; in English at The Bibliothèque nationale de France (the National Library of France) is the custodian of the nation’s memory. It fulfills the mission of transmitting this heritage to present and future generations by building, maintaining and preserving library collections and ensuring their continuing accessibility; administering legal deposits for the nation and creating and maintaining the French national bibliography; conducting a strong, diversified program of cultural events; participating in research programs; and collaborating with other establishments at the national and international levels. For more information visit or, in English, The Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library’s mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. For more about the Library of Congress, visit


PR 07-236
ISSN 0731-3527