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Integrated Authority File (GND)

The Integrated Authority File (GND) is an authority file for Persons, Corporate bodies, Conferences and Events, Geographic Information, Topics and Works. It is used above all for the cataloguing of literature by libraries, but it is also increasingly being deployed in archives, museums, projects and web applications. It is operated cooperatively by the German National Library, all German-speaking library networks and the associated libraries, the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB) and numerous other institutions. Contributions to the GND are made either via the networks or in direct agreement with the German National Library.

In April 2012 the GND replaced the following previously separate authority files: the German Personal Name Authority File (PND), the Corporate Body Authority File (GKD), the Subject Headings Authority File (SWD) and the Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv (DMA-EST file). Previous format differences were overcome through the integration of all authority records in the GND. Duplicate data records from different authority files will eventually be combined in the future.

The cataloguing codes upon which the authority records are based are the "Resource Description and Access" (RDA) for the entities which are used for descriptive and subject cataloguing such as persons, and also the "Regeln für den Schlagwortkatalog" (RSWK) for entities which are used exclusively for subject cataloguing, such as topics.

Authority data simplify cataloguing while providing clear retrieval access points and the possibility to link together different information resources. The GND authority records standardise the preferred names but also provide alternative names and relations to other authority records. This has resulted in the creation of a network of related data records which is especially well suited for use in the Web, permits navigation within the authority file and thereby improves search possibilities for users. In addition, some geographic authority data contain unchanged coordinates from the GeoNames database.

The GND authority data are available to all interested parties in different ways, free of charge under licence CC0 1.0, in the following formats: MARC 21 Authority, MARC21-xml and RDFxml.

GND authority records form part of the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF); they are combined with data from other national authority files.

Information page on GND in the German National Library Wiki

Last update: 21.10.2016


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