Authority files and records
You can search and browse an authority file to determine if an authoritative heading exists. If an authorized heading exists, it is described in an authority record.
An authority record contains information about a name or a subject heading. Each authority record may contain the established form of the heading, see from references, see also from references, and notes. The record also contains coded data that describes characteristics of the heading or record.
Records have fixed-length fields that contain coded information from the MARC 21 Leader, 005, and 008 fields. Records have variable-length fields that contain coded and textual information.
Available authority files
Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
Source: The Getty Research Institute
AAT contains terms used in museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions to describe art, architecture, decorative arts, material culture, and archival materials. The thesaurus contains concepts that include both topical headings and genre terms. The AAT database contains more than 97,000 authority records. AAT has no subdivisions, so only subfield $a will be controllable when entered in 650 and 655 fields. AAT headings with subdivisions will not be controllable.
Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE) Authority File
Source: Biblioteca Nacional de España (National Library of Spain)
The Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE) authority file contains more than 4.1 million authority records, including personal, corporate, conference, and geographic names, name-titles, uniform titles, series titles, subjects, genre, and subdivision headings.
Canadiana (Autorités de noms Canadiana en français)
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Canadiana Name Authorities in French are used by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and other Canadian libraries when creating bibliographic descriptions in French.
The database contains over 2.1 million records for names, names/titles, uniform titles, and series titles. The appropriate forms of names, names/titles, uniform titles, and serials titles in English, if applicable, are present in 7XX fields. When cataloguing in English, LAC uses the Library of Congress/NACO Authority File (LC/NAF).
Canadian Subject Headings (CSH)
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) is a list of access points in the English language, using controlled vocabulary, to express the subject content of documents on Canada. The scope of CSH is mostly limited to the Canadian cultural, economic, historical, literary, political and social experience, with few subject headings in other fields of study.
The database currently contains around 2,200 subject and geographic name headings in English.
Integrated Authority File (GND)
Source: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library)
The Integrated Authority File (GND) is an authority file that contains over 9.3 million records for personal, corporate, conference, and geographic names, name-titles, uniform titles, and subjects. It is operated cooperatively by the German National Library, all German-speaking library networks, the German Union Catalogue of Serials and numerous other institutions.
Library of Congress authority records
Source: Library of Congress
LC/NACO Name Authority File (LCNAF): contains over 10.9 million for personal names, corporate names, conference names, titles and geographic names.
Subject authority file: contains over 444,000 authority records in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), 900 authority records in the Children's Subject Headings, and 2,400 authority records in the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT).
Māori Subject Headings File
Source: Ngā Upoko Tukutuku
Subject authority file: contains over 1,800 subject heading authority records.
Māori Subject Headings provide subject access in te reo Māori to materials for and/or about Māori. The thesaurus framework offers a structured path to a Māori world view within library and archival cataloguing and description. The headings are developed by Te Whakakaokao, the Māori Subject Headings Working Group, guided by the three groups who oversee the headings: Te Rōpū Whakahau, LIANZA, and the National Library of New Zealand.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine
Subject authority file: contains approximately 640,000 records, including subject, geographic, subdivision, and genre/form headings
A controlled vocabulary maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine that provides uniformity and consistency to the indexing and cataloging of biomedical literature.
Nederlandse Thesaurus van Auteursnamen (NTA Names)
Source: Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands)
Nederlandse Thesaurus van Auteursnamen (NTA Names), or the Dutch National Thesaurus for Author names, offers access to nearly 2.8 million authority records, representing only personal names.
Répertoire de vedettes-matière (RVM) authority file
Source: Université Laval
The Répertoire de vedettes-matière de l'Université Laval (RVM) is a controlled vocabulary made up of four mostly bilingual thesauruses: subject, genre/form, demographic group, and medium of performance. It is designed for document indexers, organizations that want to describe the content of their documents or of their products and services, as well as anyone who wants to clarify vocabulary in English and French as part of their work or research.
The Répertoire de vedettes-matière section of the Université Laval Library creates and maintains the nearly 300,000 authority records.