The VIAF Program is an OCLC-administered activity to support VIAF. The VIAF Contributors participating in the VIAF Program provide authority and bibliographic data to support VIAF in accordance with established VIAF policies and practices.

VIAF is also a shared collaborative of the Contributors. VIAF Contributors are encouraged to contribute to the VIAF Program through providing operational advice, promoting the use of VIAF, and participation in the formal advisory process including contribution to the development and implementation of policies affecting the VIAF. VIAF and the VIAF Program—like WorldCat and other OCLC cooperative activities—are subject ultimately to the authority of the OCLC Board of Trustees.

The VIAF Council (VIAFC) is established under the aegis of the VIAF Program. The VIAFC's broad purpose is to provide guidance with respect to the policies, practices, and operation of the VIAF and the VIAF Program.

Specifically, the VIAFC is charged to:

  • Contribute to the development of policies, practices, and the operation of VIAF and the VIAF Program, and policies related to the eligibility and selection of new VIAF Contributors;
  • Advise on service features and data formats supported by the VIAF;
  • Advise on ways and means to promote the effective and appropriate use of the VIAF;
  • Execute certain business aspects of the VIAFC as required;
  • Designate a VIAFC Chair.

The VIAFC is made up of voting member positions and one OCLC liaison position. Every VIAF Contributor organization may appoint a voting member to represent it on the VIAFC. The OCLC VIAFC liaison is appointed by OCLC.

VIAFC holds an annual election to name a Chair-Elect. The Chair-Elect serves in this role for the Council year preceding their year-long  term as VIAFC Chair. The transition of Chair-Elect to Chair occurs at the close of the VIAFC Annual Meeting, traditionally held the Friday before the start of each IFLA World Library and Information Congress.

Chairs of VIAF Council

  • Beacher Wiggins—Library of Congress (2016)
  • Vincent Boulet—Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France) (2015)
  • Brigitte Wiechmann—Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library) (2014)
  • Vincent Boulet—Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France) (2013)
  • Barbara Tillett—Library of Congress (2012)

OCLC VIAF Council Liaison

Ted Fons

Service availability

  • Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) service

    Available everywhere