November 25, 2015

Watch/Listen: From OCLC Research: Archived Copy of Recent Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) Webinar Now Online

We’re big fans of VIAF. You should be too! It’s already very useful and very cool. Plus, many possibilities for future use.

From OCLC:

The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) now comprises almost 20 million records from 24 different sources. In the last two months VIAF had over 70,000 visits from 147 countries/territories, with two-thirds “returning visitors.” In addition, VIAF sees 6 million hits per month from automated systems such as Web harvesters or other programs retrieving VIAF information.

The “show and tell” VIAF demonstrations you’ll see in this webinar recording include:

  • Using VIAF as the primary reference for LC/NACO authority work to differentiate names—Spencer Anspach, Indiana University
  • Using VIAF to create a record in Fihrist, a multi-institutional Islamic manuscript catalog, incorporating the URI to an author’s VIAF page—Alasdair Watson, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
  • How VIAF helps researchers—Magda El-Sherbini, Ohio State University
  • Using VIAF to identify provenance of rare books and adding VIAF links to images of bookplates, inscriptions and other marks of ownership in Flickr—Regan Kladstrup, University of Pennsylvania
  • Using VIAF to identify issues in the VIAF matching process and how to respond and report them—Stephen Hearn, University of Minnesota

Program Officer Karen Smith-Yoshimura introduced and facilitated the session and Chief Scientist Thom Hickey fielded questions from webinar attendees.

NOTE: This free webinar was open to OCLC Research Library Partners only, but the 1 hour and 13 minute recording is freely available

Access the Webinar

Access the VIAF

Access VIAF webinar slides (PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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