Backstage announces generic name headings now include VIAF name/work matching

Provo, Utah, May 21, 2019 – Backstage Library Works ( is pleased to announce exciting changes to its authority control and data cleanup processes. The generic name heading matching process now includes VIAF name/work matching.

VIAF is the Virtual International Authority File, an OCLC repository for name authority headings contributed by national libraries around the world. It includes works for individuals, which can be used as additional points of validation when searching for a name. Matching a generic name heading against a VIAF authority record and confirming the match with the title of a work produces a much more accurate result.

An example: Consider “Harrington, Anne” which has no other qualifying data such as a birth or death date to help differentiate it from some other “Harrington, Anne”. Backstage’s process now takes the 245 $a title from the bibliographic record and compares that against the works in the VIAF records.

Backstage can match “Harrington, Anne” and “Mind fixers” then return the VIAF preferred term for the United States that corresponds with that particular work; in this case that preferred term would now be “Harrington, Anne, 1960- ”. The Backstage authority control system will then verify that personal name against the Library of Congress Name Authority file.

By incorporating a name/work search in VIAF, Backstage successfully updates names more often, and with greater accuracy.

Casey Cheney, Vice President of Authority Control Services at Backstage states:

“With the incorporation of VIAF name/work searches into our Authority Matching process, we’re better able to serve our clients by reducing the number of incorrect name matches due to the continued presence of undifferentiated names within the LC Authority files.

“As with all of our processing options, while the incorporation of the VIAF searching is built into our default process, any institution that wishes to opt of out this search has the ability to do so.”

Backstage supports the library, archives, and museum community with customized solutions for:

Backstage’s objective is to provide the most technologically advanced, high quality, yet efficient means for delivering professional library services. With over 30 years of experience, the company is known for its expertise in handling complex and unique projects.

In providing services to more than a thousand libraries, large and small, public and private, and in locations across the globe, Backstage has cultivated an understanding of libraries, their mission, their operations, and the challenges they face. Backstage offices are in Provo, Utah, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Kat Kamp | Marketing Department
Backstage Library Works | Provo, Utah & Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Phone: 801.356.1852 | Fax: 801.356.8220 |

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