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Template:Authority control

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This metadata template displays unique identifiers related to the topic of the Commons page and links pages to the corresponding entries in library catalogs and other authority files all over the world. At the moment, it is used almost exclusively in biographical pages (categories and creator templates) and pages related to GLAM institutions (Categories and institution templates). They can provide additional information about the person, link to works written by and about the person and in general allow more precise disambiguation.

Initially parameters were added directly to the template, but since May 2016, the preferred way is to add Authority control parameters to Wikidata and display it on Commons by providing "Wikidata" parameter.

The template automatically sets the following categories: Category:Categories with authority control data and can set one of Category:Authority control template maintenance subcategories


{{Authority control |Wikidata= }}

Template parameters

Wikidata item ID (including initial Q). Module:Authority control will pull data from this item and you won't have to set any other field.emptyoptional
VIAFVirtual International Authority File: International authority data on persons (and other?) from the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). The VIAF combines authority records from around 20 national libraries and other authority files like the Getty Union List of Artist Names. The VIAF ID corresponding to the subject of the article can be found on, which combines authority records from many organizations worldwide into single datasets. Enter the person's name in the search field and find the corresponding dataset in the search results. The VIAF ID can be found underneath the name list. If the entries for a particular person in the various authority records haven't been merged into a single VIAF dataset yet, use the VIAF ID that contains the subject's LCCN. Sooner or later VIAF will merge them into one dataset and redirect to this from old IDs.emptydeprecated
ISNIInternational Standard Name Identifier: Number that uniquely identify the public identity of contributor to media content such as books, TV programmes, and newspaper articles. This identifier can be found on This identifier is also provided by "justlinks" VIAF API. Use numerical format of this identifier like "0000000081386064".emptydeprecated
ORCIDAuthority data on researchers, academics, etc. The ID range has been defined as a subset of the forthcoming ISNI range. Authors—including Wikipedia editors—may obtain an ORCID by signing up at
LCCNLibrary of Congress Control Number: Authority data on persons (and other?) from the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress Control Number can be found on various websites. The easiest way is via (see above). Other options are the websites of Library of Congress Identities and Worldcat Identities.

Note that the LCCN has to be formatted in a special way so it can be used in the template: it consists of a alphabetic prefix ("n", "nr", "no", etc..), the year (two digits, four digits since 2001) and a 6-digit serial number. These parts have to be separated by a "/" and leading zeros of the serial number have to be removed.

  • "n 79063767" → "n/79/63767"
  • "n 79022889" → "n/79/22889"
  • "no2010136878" → "no/2010/136878"
Integrated Authority File (Gemeinsame Normdatei): Authority data from the German National Library. The GND can be found via OGND. In the online catalogue of the German National Library the GND can either be found in the browser's address bar as part of the website's address or as the last part of a web address in the field named "Link zu diesem Datensatz".emptydeprecated
SELIBRSELIBR by the National Library of Sweden: Authority data on persons (and other?) from the National Library of Sweden. The identifier can be found via The VIAF datasets containing such identifiers link to the authority records at . Copy the number in the last part of that web address and paste it into the SELIBR parameter in the template.emptydeprecated
BNFBibliothèque nationale de France index: Authority data on persons from the French National Library, using the permanent Archival Resource Key. The ARK may be found in; e.g. for Albert Einstein: ark:/12148/cb119016075/PUBLICcb119016075emptydeprecated
Français : Autorité dans le SUDOC (français) ; chercher la notice d'autorité sur (syntaxe : « nom, prénom »), reprendre le numéro actuellement à neuf chiffres et commençant par un zéro, juste au-dessus de « Lien permanent » ou de « Forme retenue », vers le haut de la notice.
BPNBiografisch Portaal numberemptydeprecated
ULANUnion List of Artist Names: Authority data on persons from J. Paul Getty Trust. ULAN is an online database using a controlled vocabulary currently containing around 293,000 names and other information about artists. Names in ULAN may include given names, pseudonyms, variant spellings, names in multiple languages, and names that have changed over time (e.g., married names). Search the ULAN for free.emptydeprecated
ResearcherIDAn identifying system for scientific authors. The system was introduced in 2008 by Thomson Reuters. The combined use of the Digital Object Identifier with the ResearcherID allows for a unique association of authors and scientific articles. (
KIDKunstindeks Danmark ID (Danish artists)emptydeprecated
MuseofileMuseofile ID (French museums)emptydeprecated
WORLDCATIDWhen using the parameter LCCN a link will be automatically added to WorldCat database. WORLDCATID can be used to provide alternative link without LCCN.emptydeprecated
NAIDNational Archives Identifier previously known as Archival Research Catalog index: Authority data on persons from US National Archives and Records Administration. The NAID can be found via .emptydeprecated
bare"bare=1" will show only links without top line or the box. This option is used in {{Creator}} and {{Institution}} for display of authority control data.emptyoptional
lengthlength allows you to specify the maximum number of identifiers to use. There is a fine balance between having too few and too many identifiers, as more famous people will be in greater number of authority control databases while less known people might be only in one or two. So on one hand we want to include links to as many databases as possible but on the other hand we do not want to display lines and lines of links to several dozen databases for famous people, especially inside of {{Creator}} and {{Institution}} templates. "Length" parameter is used by {{Creator}} and {{Institution}} templates to set maximum number on how many links will be displayed.emptyoptional

Additional information

The template is intended to be used in the following namespaces: all namespaces

The template is intended to be used by the following user groups: all users

Relies on:
Module:Authority control

See also


The template can get its information from the following properties on Wikidata:

Parameter Type Property ID
LCCN LCCN Library of Congress authority ID (P244)
BNF BNF Bibliothèque nationale de France ID (P268)
BPN BPN Biografisch Portaal van Nederland ID (P651)
ULAN ULAN Union List of Artist Names ID (P245)
MBA MBID MusicBrainz artist ID (P434)
NLA NLA Libraries Australia ID (P409)
NDL NDL NDL Authority ID (P349)
RID RID ResearcherID (P1053)
RKDartists RKD RKDartists ID (P650)

Transitioning identifiers to Wikidata

In order to improve accuracy of the authority control identifiers Commons and all the Wikipedias are in the process of transitioning Authority control identifiers to Wikidata. Here are the steps:
1. Add Wikidata parameter with Wikidata q-code. This will allow Module:Authority control to compare Commons identifiers with the ones stored on Wikidata. There are several outcomes of this comparison :

2. Reconcile Commons and Wikidata versions:

  • Verify that Commons page and Wikidata item are for the same person, institution, etc.
  • If Commons identifiers are incorrect or the match with the wikidata item is uncertain than please remove Commons identifier
  • If Commons identifiers are correct but missing from Wikidata than they should be transferred to Wikidata:
  • Codes can be added to Wikidata by hand. Please add reference "imported from Commons".
  • One easy way to do it is to copy the transfer code, paste it to a text editor and replace spaces with tabs. Than paste the code to box in Quick Statements Tool. Most of those steps can be done in batches of dozen steps at a time.

3. Once Commons and Wikidata identifiers are reconciled they will show up in Category:Pages using authority control with all identifiers matching Wikidata. Pages in this category can be stripped from local identifier parameters:

  • You can completely remove authority field with {{Authority control}} template from Creator and Institution, The field will be internally added by the template.
  • Categories with {{Authority control}} template should only have Wikidata parameter.


  • {{Authority control|TYP=p|GND=119408643|LCCN=n/79/113947|BNF=cb13746617f|VIAF=59263727|ISNI=0000000081386064}} (for Alexander Graham Bell) produces:
Authority control

  • {{Authority control|TYP=p|GND=119408643|LCCN=n/79/113947|BNF=cb13746617f|VIAF=59263727|ISNI=0000000081386064|bare=1}} (for Alexander Graham Bell) produces:

  • {{Authority control|VIAF=30634969|ULAN=500336955|ISNI=0000000123201583|GND=130076031|NLA=36730414|bare=1}} produces: