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Authority Control in VuFind®

VuFind® includes an authority control system. This page provides some details on how it is being used and how its application could be expanded.

Authority Index

The authority index lives alongside the bib index within VuFind®'s Solr instance to store Authority records.

The field schema is structured as follows:

Field Value
id control number
record_format record format (used to load the appropriate record driver – prefixed with “SolrAuth” to create a service alias). Added in release 5.0; prior to that, all authority records were assumed to be MARC.
fullrecord full authority record in raw form (usually MARC, but see record_format)
marc_error errors reported by the SolrMarc import tool
allfields content of all human-readable fields in the authority record, used to augment searching
source source of the authority record (i.e. Library of Congress Name Authority File, Local System, etc.)
institution institution controlling authority record; potentially useful for faceting. Added in release 5.0.
record_type type of authority record (i.e. Personal Name, Corporate Name, etc.
lccn Library of Congress card number for authority record
heading Primary legal heading for authority record (i.e. 1XX field)
use_for Variant names for authority record (i.e. 4XX fields)
see_also Related authority records (i.e. 5XX fields)
scope_note Scope note
heading_keywords / use_for_keywords / see_also_keywords Copy-fielded versions of heading / use_for / see_also used in full-text searching
birth_date / death_date / birth_place / death_place / country / related_place / field_of_activity / occupation / gender / language Fields for storing data added in RDA to describe people; used primarily for faceting. Added in release 3.1.
first_indexed / last_indexed Index dates used for tracking record changes

The authority schema also supports the dynamic field suffixes _date, _date_mv, _str, _str_mv, _txt, and _txt_mv. Some of VuFind®'s default import configurations take advantages of these suffixes to index some additional facet fields: chronological_facet_str_mv, form_facet_str_mv, general_facet_str_mv and geographic_facet_str_mv.


Version 5.0

Changed “allfields” to multi-valued and added institution and record_format fields.

Version 3.1

Added birth_date / death_date / birth_place / death_place / country / related_place / field_of_activity / occupation / gender / language fields.

Version 1.1

Authority system introduced.

Obtaining Authority Records

In addition to exporting records from your ILS, you may be able to load them from public sources.

Loading OCLC FAST Records

See the OCLC Fast section of the Open Data Sources page for details on importing free authority records from OCLC.

Authority Import Script

VuFind® has a separate indexing script that uses SolrMarc to load authority records into the authority index. See Importing Authority Records for more details.

Bibliographic Records

Authority records are not currently explicitly referenced inside VuFind®'s bibliographic Solr index – it is assumed that authority processing is done externally and that bib records contain consistent headings. It may be worth doing some additional work to store authorized and item-specific forms of headings in the Solr “biblio” index to allow more precise searching.

Separate search systems have been created to allow author searching and browsing. VuFind® has a simple Authority module that allows searching of the authority index, and the Alphabetical Heading Browse takes advantage of authority data. The existing AuthorityRecommend recommendation module offers a simple mechanism for suggesting alternate searches based on authority data. It is also possible to implement additional Recommendations Modules and/or Custom Autosuggestions to take advantage of authority data.

development/architecture/authority_control.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/09 20:58 by demiankatz