Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)

Authority files are a way of bringing together all of the different names for a person, place, organization, etc. to help researchers find everything connected to that term.

Examples of variant names that an authority file helps with are:

  • Myanmar = Burma (geographic)
  • George Eliot = Mary Anne Evans (personal name)
  • Blackberry = Research in Motion (corporate name)
  • New Testament = Bible N.T. and many other variants (work)
This resource searches all of these kinds of authority files and more, with examples of published works where the variants are used, and what countries' main libraries prefer which variant.