Authority Source Resource

Authority Source Records are MARC21 or Unimarc Name Authority records that have been processed for improved uniformity. You can search for these records and use them in your application.

URLs and Supported Requests

Operation Resource URL HTTP METHOD
Read{Authority_Source_Code}|{Local_Authority_ID} GET
SRU Search{CQL_Query}&maximumRecords=10&startRecord=1&sortKeys=holdingscount&httpAccept=text/xml GET
SRU Browse{CQL_Query}&responsePosition=10&maximumTerms=20 GET

Response Formats

Data Responses

The Authority Source endpoint allows a client to specify the response format either through content negotiation or by using a URL parameter.

Response Format Content Negotiation mime type
Use with HTTP accept header
httpAccept Parameter Values




XML application/xml text/xml

SRU Search and Browse Responses

Response Format Content Negotiation mime type
Use with HTTP accept header
httpAccept Parameter Values
HTML (default)












Reading Source Records

Source records are identified by the source authority and a local control number.

Authority Source Codes

Source Code Authority
ALL All source data within VIAF
BAV Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
BNE Biblioteca Nacional de España
BNF Bibliothèque Nationale de France
DNB Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
EGAXA Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt)
ICCU Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico
JPG Getty Research Institute
LC Library of Congress/NACO
LAC Library and Archives Canada
NKC National Library of the Czech Republic
NLA National Library of Australia
NLIara National Library of Israel (Arabic)
NLIcyr National Library of Israel (Cyrillic)
NLIheb National Library of Israel (Hebrew)
NLIlat National Library of Israel (Latin)
NUKAT The National Union Catalog of Poland
PTBNP Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
SELIBR National Library of Sweden
SWNL Swiss National Library

SRU Searching and Browsing

Search Parameters

Parameter Required? Description
Expected/Sample Value
query Yes CQL query query=local.personalName+all+%22austen%20jane%22
httpAccept No The accept type to return the results as. By default html is returned



recordSchema No The record schema to return information in. By default VIAF XML is returned


MARCXML - info:srw/schema/1/marcxml-v1.1

maximumRecords No The number of records to return per page. 10
startRecord No The record to start with. 1
sortKey No The field to sort the results on

Browse Parameters

Parameter Required? Description
Expected/Sample Value
scanClause Yes CQL query scanClause=local.personalName+exact+%22austen,%20jane%22
maximumTerms No The number of items per page to include in the response. Similar to the maximum records parameter in the search response.
responsePosition No

The value for this parameter will put the seed term (or closest match) at the specified position.

For example, if the API request includes the following parameters:


the closest match to the personal name "wittgenstein" will be at position 10 response and there will be 10 terms preceeding it and 9 after it in the list of 20.


The Contextual Query Language (CQL) Indices

A list of possible indices to be used in Search and SRU Search requests. You can browse values for each search term by going to, selecting the index term on the right side of the page, entering a term, and pressing the "Browse" button.

Note that search terms can be:

  • = (one or more terms)
  • exact (searchs the exact string, including any punctuation)
  • any (for any of a list of terms)
  • all (for all the listed terms)
  • <
  • >
  • <=
  • >=
  • not
Index Description Expected/Sample Value(s)
local.authLink Link to an authority record. This indexes the 998 |2 in the source records
local.bibLink Link to a bib record. This indexes the 999 |2 in the source records
local.identifiers identifier local.identifiers+exact+"NLP|a11563254"
local.lccn Library of Congress Number local.lccn+exact+"nr2006027192"
local.personalName Personal Names local.personalName+all+%22jane austen%22
local.title Titles local.title+all+"magic flute"

Example URLs

Data Examples

Retrieve a single Authority Source record with the Source Control Number NTA|332786250 in XML format:


SRU Search Examples

Search for authority source records where the personal name contains all the terms "Jane Austen"

GET austen%22

Search for authority source records where the title contains all the terms "Magic Flute"


Search for Authority Source records where the lccn is "nr2006027192"


SRU Browse Examples

Browse for personal name "austen, jane"


Browse for title "magic flute"


Browse for LCCN "nr2006-27192"



VIAF Self Documenting Features

The service itself describes the search parameters available for source records:

Documentation Endpoint Description Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU) search parameters for processed source records.