Two National Libraries Become Members of ISNI

The National Library of Finland and the National Library of New Zealand have become members of the ISNI-International Agency (ISNI-IA).   The ISNI-IA maintains the ISNI ISO Standard (ISO 27729) and reference database.  Members have access to the full ISNI database that includes 17.6 million records, of which 6.9 million represent assigned ISNIs that are made available publically via  The database is a rich cross domain resource, including data from 25 sources from rights management societies, professional societies, encyclopaedias, research and trade organisations in addition to 38 major libraries that contribute to VIAF (Virtual International Authority File).   As well as using the database to maintain and enrich their own data, members are able to generate new links,  correct and enrich records of others, and to diffuse data to other ISNI sources via ISNI’s notification system.  Via the ISNI database it is possible to ensure accurate differentiation of national identities both locally and internationally.

"The main goal of the Finnish ISNI project is to establish a shared national authority database closely connected to the ISNI database.  The National Library of Finland became an ISNI member in October 2013.  Membership enables improved access to the international ISNI database and the transfer of Finnish authority data to the ISNI database; this will be done later when the Finnish data has been aligned with the ISNI requirements. It is the national library’s intention to become a Registration Agency (RAG) but that depends on the funding of the national ISNI project. The project has applied to the Ministry of Education for a grant for the ISNI activities.

"If the Finnish ISNI project receives the funding, the National Library of Finland would act as a co-ordinator for the ISNI activities in Finland. The other participants would be rights management societies, public administration, museums, archives, libraries etc. These organizations are currently maintaining their own authority data and the cooperation between these actors could decrease the overlap."
Maarit Huttunen, The National Library of Finland

"Identification and disambiguation of names has always been important in aiding users in effective searching. In the environment of linked data and the semantic web, the management  of identities is even more important and the National Library sees ISNI as an important tool in helping the National Library of New Zealand’s  name data to work with other name data from both library and  non-library sources."
Kim Gutchlag, National Library of New Zealand

"The ISNI Quality Team, made up of experts from the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Library, is enthused to see other library colleagues getting involved in ISNI, as human expertise is essential in the control infrastructure of ISNI. The library community has extended experience with the complex issues related to disambiguation and identification of people and organizations. This is inherent to the day-to-day work in devising efficient catalogues, with authority control becoming more and more important each and every day. But we believe ISNI is transforming ways of cooperatively consolidating identities, by globally sharing human efforts and expertise. The ISNI Quality Team welcomes reinforcement and is most happy to collaborate with colleagues from other countries and rely on their competence in disambiguating and consolidating national identities."
Anila Angjeli, ISNI Quality Team at the Bibliothèque nationale de France

About the National Library of Finland
The National  Library of Finland is the oldest and largest scholarly library in Finland as well as one of the largest independent institutes at the University of Helsinki. It is responsible for the collection, description, preservation and accessibility of Finland’s printed national heritage and the unique collections under its care. The National Library also serves as a national service and development centre for the library sector and promotes national and international cooperation in the field.

About the National Library of New Zealand
New Zealand National Library's purpose is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations by collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes, including those forming part of the international library community.
The National Library of New Zealand contributes New Zealand name authority records through the Name Authority Co-operative Program of the Program for Co-operative Cataologing (NACO). It has been a contributing member of NACO since 2001. National Library of New Zealand name authority records are contributed to ISNI through VIAF.

About ISNI
ISNI is the ISO certified global standard number for identifying the millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution, including researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more. It is part of a family of international standard identifiers that includes identifiers of works, recordings, products and right holders in all repertoires, e.g. DOI, ISAN, ISBN, ISRC, ISSN, ISTC, and ISWC.

The mission of the ISNI International Authority (ISNI-IA) is to assign to the public name(s) of a researcher, inventor, writer, artist, performer, publisher, etc. a persistent unique identifying number in order to resolve the problem of name ambiguity in search and discovery; and diffuse each assigned ISNI across all repertoires in the global supply chain so that every published work can be unambiguously attributed to its creator wherever that work is described.

By achieving these goals the ISNI will act as a bridge identifier across multiple domains and become a critical component in Linked Data and Semantic Web applications.

About the ISNI International Agency

ISNI is the globally recognized and adopted standard approved by ISO for the unique identification of the public identities across all fields of creative activity.

Registration Agency

A registration agent provides the interface between ISNI applicants and the ISNI Registration Authority, which is governed by the ISNI board and administered by OCLC.

Search the ISNI Database

Use the lookup tool provided by OCLC to search the ISNI database, to discover which Public Identities have already been assigned ISNIs.