Name :

-          in the national language(s) and script(s): Library of Congress

-          in English : Library of Congress



Image by Mr. Robert Sokol, a Library of Congress employee



101 Independence Ave., S.E.

Washington DC 20540-4200



Web site :


Contact :

Ana Cristàn (technical level) or Beacher J. Wiggins (policy level)


Short description of the institution:

The Library of Congress was established on April 24, 1800. In 1802 Congress established the position of Librarian of Congress and defined the Library’s role and functions. Legislation in 1865 and 1870 centralized U.S. copyright functions at LC. Since 1900 LC has been legally able to share its cataloging data with other libraries on a cost-recovery basis, including Cataloging in Publication records since 1971. LC now serves as the de facto national library of the U.S. for all content areas except clinical medicine and technical agriculture. The Library of Congress now includes the Congressional Research Service; U.S. Copyright Office; Law Library of Congress; Office of Strategic Initiatives, administering the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program; and Library Services, that performs most national library functions including service to the blind.


Short description of the authority data:

-          Authorities web site :

-          described entities:

o   Persons

o   Conferences

o   Corporate bodies

o   Geographical names

o   Titles

o   Name/Titles

o   Library of Congress Subject Headings

o   Please note that the Library of Congress Classification numbers authority records are found in the fee-based subscription database Classification Web; see for information on subscribing. The LCC authority records are not provided to VIAF.

-          quantity/number of records: 9,008,128 as of June 1, 2013

-          data provided in the authority records

o   Established (Uniform) heading (including additions to the preferred name to form the preferred access point, such as dates)

o   Variant heading (that is, “cross reference” as shown in manifestation and as formulated according to cataloging instructions)

o   Related heading (that is, “see-also reference” as shown in manifestation and as formulated according to cataloging instructions)

o   Information Note, also called Scope Note on LC Authorities Website

o   Sources consulted (Sources of data found and not found)


Data provided to VIAF and number of records:

         The Library of Congress provides all its authority records (except for Library of Congress Classification authority records) and MARC-formatted bibliographic records to VIAF. The non-unique name authority records are provided but are not loaded into VIAF.

         Number of records provided to VIAF (not necessarily loaded by VIAF):

o   All Name Authority Records: 8,595,901 as of June 1, 2103

§  Persons: 6,310,631

§  Conferences: 183,495

§  Corporate bodies: 1,444,944

§  Geographic names: 130,208

§  Titles: 526,623

§  N.B. Name/titles are not reported separately; they are included in the counts of Persons, Conferences, and Corporate bodies.

o   Library of Congress Subject Headings: 412,227 as of Sept. 30, 2012.  The program that is used to compile LCSH statistics is run only annually.

o   Total authority records: 9,008,128



Annual Report of the Libarian of Congress for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2012.  Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2013. Available online at URL [Accessed July 30, 2013].


Proceedings of the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium : Confronting the Challenges of Networked Resources and the Web, Washington, D.C.,  Nov. 15-17, 2000, sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate. Edited by Ann M. Sandberg-Fox. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 2001. Many of the conference papers are available online at URL [Accessed July 30, 2013].


Bennett, Rick, Christina Hengel-Dietrich, Edward T. O’Neill, and Barbara B. Tillett. “VIAF (Virtual International Authority File): Linking the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and Library of Congress Name Authority Files.” International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control, v. 36, no. 1. London: IFLA UBCIM Programme, 2007.


Tillett, Barbara. “A Virtual International Authority File,” International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control, v. 30, London: IFLA UBCIM Programme, 2001.