Authority Control

Since many years  the Institute has been paying great attention to the realization of the Authority File as an indispensable tool for improving the quality and consultation of the information existing in the SBN collective catalogue.

The creation of an Authority File is a great  project of national and international relevance, and it requires the active collaboration of all SBN partners both in normal cataloguing activities and in the more specialized work of defining authority headings. Indeed, as the Index has evolved, the Authority File has been integrated into the management system and it can be queried and managed both through the centralized, direct interface procedure and through the Hub functions.
At the moment the entities for which an authority heading is to be created include: name of persons, collective authors and uniform titles. These headings will include additional fields, in keeping with GARR and UNIMARC/A. Furthermore, a bibliographic archive of reference numbers has been created in order to  ensure the controlled attribution of sources.

Since June 2009 ICCU has been participating in the international project Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) with about 50,000 authority records related toname of persons, in accordance with the UNIMARC/A format. The VIAF catalogue, managed by OCLC since 2012, can be consulted at and includes the authority records of over 20 nations taking part in this important and ambitious project.
The contributions of each single library and hub are of fundamental importance: especially when cataloguing local collections, the libraries owning these collections are often the only source of valuable bibliographic information and can shed light on the areas of expertise of those authors whose name, in and of itself, would not be enough to distinguish them from their namesakes, making it impossible to correctly attribute the publications contained in the SBN Catalogue.

For more information: Lucia Negrini