Integrated Authority File

Integrated Authority File

GND screenshot

The Integrated Authority File (catalogues. It is used mainly for documentation in libraries and increasingly also by archives and museums. The GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.[1]

The GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, and an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It also comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format.[2]

The Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files which have since been discontinued:

At the time of its introduction (“GND-Grundbestand” from 5 April 2012), the GND holds 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalized names.

Other authority files are: Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF) by the Library of Congress, Web NDL Authorities by the National Diet Library (Japan), LIBRIS by the National Library of Sweden, and the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF).

Types of GND high-level entities

There are seven main types of GND entities:[3]

Typ German (official) English (translation)
p Person (individualisiert) person (individualized)
n Name (nicht individualisiert) name (not individualized)
k Körperschaft corporate body
v Veranstaltung event
w Werk work
s Sachbegriff topical term
g Geografikum geographical place name


  1. ^ Integrated Authority File (GND)
  2. ^ GND Ontology – Namespace Document, version 2012-06-30.
  3. ^ Entitätencodierung: Vergaberichtlinien (short lists: old and new version)

External links

  • Information pages about the GND from the German National Library
  • Search via OGND (Bibliotheksservice-Zentrum Baden-Württemberg)
  • Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012
  • From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann (German National Library) to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012