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A brief history

  • In April 1998, the United States Library of Congress (LC), the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) and OCLC embarked on a proof of concept project to test linking each other's Authority Records for personal names.
  • The VIAF Consortium was formed by written agreement of LC, DNB and OCLC in August 2003. The agreement was signed at the 69 th IFLA General Conference held in Berlin.
  • The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) joined the consortium with an agreement effective 5 October 2007.
  • These four organizations—LC, DNB, BnF, and OCLC—assumed the role of Principals in the consortium, having joint responsibility for VIAF with OCLC hosting VIAF and supplying the software, and the participating institutions supplying the authority and bibliographic data content. Additional organizations later joined the consortium as Contributors, providing source files and expertise to advance the state of VIAF.
  • With the successful proof of concept of VIAF, discussions begin in earnest among the Principals in 2010 about a suitable long-term organizational arrangement for VIAF. After considering various options, the Principals and Contributors agreed to transition VIAF to an OCLC service. During 2011 details of the transition were discussed and agreed to and, in 2012, the transition has begun.