New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D. C, it was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress. The university is organized into 14 colleges and schools, including the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of International Affairs, the GW School of Business, the School of Media and Public Affairs, the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, the GW Law School and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. George Washington's main Foggy Bottom Campus is located in the heart of Washington, D. C. with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank located on campus and the White House and the U. S. Department of State within blocks of campus. GWU hosts numerous research centers and institutes, including the National Security Archive and the Institute for International Economic Policy. GWU has two satellite campuses: the Mount Vernon Campus, located in D. C.'s the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.
It is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. George Washington, the first President of the United States, advocated the establishment of a national university in the U. S. capital in his first State of the Union address in 1790 and continued to promote this idea throughout his career and until his death. In his will, Washington left shares in the Potomac Company to endow the university. However, due to the company's financial difficulties, funds were raised independently. On 9 February 1821, the university was founded by an Act of Congress, making it one of only five universities in the United States with a Congressional charter. George Washington offers degree programs in seventy-one disciplines, enrolling an average of 11,000 undergraduate and 15,500 post-graduate students from more than 130 countries; the Princeton Review ranked GWU 1st for Top Universities for Internship Opportunities. As of 2015, George Washington had over 1,100 active alumni in the U. S. Foreign Service, the nation's diplomatic corps.
GWU is ranked by The Princeton Review in the top "Most Politically Active" Schools. George Washington is home to extensive student life programs, as well as a strong Greek culture, over 450 other student organizations; the school's athletic teams, the George Washington Colonials, play in the Atlantic 10 Conference. GW is known for the numerous prominent events it holds yearly, from hosting U. S. presidential debates and academic symposiums to the being the host of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund's Annual Meetings in DC, since 2013. George Washington alumni and affiliates include numerous prominent politicians, including the current U. S. Attorney General, heads of state and government, CEOs of major corporations, Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, Olympic athletes, Academy Award and Golden Globe winners and Time 100 notables. Historical records have shown that the first president of the United States, President George Washington, had made indications to Congress that he aspired to have a university established in the capital of the United States.
He included the subject in his last will and testament. Baptist missionary and leading minister Luther Rice raised funds to purchase a site in Washington, D. C. for a college to educate citizens from throughout the young nation. A large building was constructed on College Hill, now known as Meridian Hill, on February 9, 1821, President James Monroe approved the congressional charter creating the non-denominational Columbian College; the first commencement in 1824 was considered an important event for the young city of Washington, D. C. In attendance were President Monroe, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Marquis de Lafayette and other dignitaries; the George Washington University, like much of Washington, D. C. traces many of its origins back to the Freemasons. The Bible that the President of the George Washington University use to swear an oath on upon inauguration is the Bible of Freemason George Washington. Freemasonry symbols are prominently displayed throughout the campus including the foundation stones of many of the university buildings.
During the Civil War, most students left to join the Confederacy and the college's buildings were used as a hospital and barracks. Walt Whitman was among many of the volunteers to work on the campus. Following the war, in 1873, Columbian College became the Columbian University and moved to an urban downtown location centered on 15th and H streets, NW. In 1904, Columbian University changed its name to the George Washington University in an agreement with the George Washington Memorial Association to build a campus building in honor of the first U. S. President. Neither the university nor the association were able to raise enough funds for the proposed building near the National Mall; the university moved its principal operations to the D. C. neighborhood of Foggy Bottom in 1912. Many of the Colleges of the George Washington University stand out for their history; the Law School is the oldest law school in the District of Columbia. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is the 11th oldest medical school in the nation.
The Columbian College was founded in 1821, is the oldest unit of the university. The Elliott School of International Affairs was formalized in 1898; the majority of the present infrastructure and financial stability at GW is due to the tenures of GW Presidents Cloyd Heck Marvin, Lloyd Hartman Elliott and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. In the 1930s, the university was a major center for theoretical physics; the cosmologist George Gamow produced critica
Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, United States, that lies between the western bank of the Connecticut River and the Mount Tom Range. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 39,880; as of 2017, the estimated population was 40,341. Sitting 8 miles north of Springfield, Holyoke is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in Massachusetts. Holyoke is among the early planned industrial cities in the United States. Built in tandem with the Holyoke Dam to utilize the water power of Hadley Falls, it is one of a handful of cities in New England built on the grid plan. During the late 19th century the city produced an estimated 80% of the writing paper used in the United States and was home to the largest paper mill architectural firm in the country, as well as the largest paper and alpaca wool mills in the world. Although a smaller number of businesses in Holyoke work in the paper industry today, it is still referred to as "The Paper City". Today the city contains a number of specialty manufacturing companies, as well as the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, an intercollegiate research facility which opened in 2012.
Holyoke is home to the Volleyball Hall of Fame and known as the "Birthplace of Volleyball", as the internationally played Olympic sport was invented and first played at the local YMCA chapter by William G. Morgan in 1895. While working for the Holyoke Water Power Company in the 1880s, hydraulic engineer Clemens Herschel invented the Venturi meter to determine the water use of individual mills in the Holyoke Canal System; this device, the first accurate means of measuring large-scale flows, is used in a number of engineering applications today, including waterworks and carburators, as well as aviation instrumentation. Powered by these municipally owned canals, Holyoke has among the lowest energy rates in the Commonwealth, as of 2016 between 85% and 90% of the city's energy was carbon neutral, with administrative goals in place to reach 100% in the immediate future. English colonists arrived in the Connecticut River Valley in 1633, when traders from the Plymouth Plantation established a post at Windsor, Connecticut.
In 1636, Massachusetts Bay Colony assistant treasurer and Puritan iconoclast William Pynchon led a group of settlers from Roxbury, Massachusetts to the Valley to establish Springfield on land scouts had found to be advantageous for farming and trading. This settlement was built north of the Connecticut River's first major falls, Enfield Falls, where seagoing vessels had to transfer cargo into smaller shallops to continue northward on the river. Due to its proximity to the banks of the river Springfield became a successful settlement on the Bay Path to Boston, as well as the Massachusetts Path to Albany; the settlement spanned both sides of the river but was partitioned in 1774 with the land on the western bank becoming West Springfield, Massachusetts. This area allotted to landowners on the east side of the river in Springfield, was settled by colonists by 1655. Holyoke as a geographic entity was incorporated as a parish; the area's first post office, "Ireland", was established June 3, 1822, with Martin Chapin as first postmaster.
Another, "Ireland Depot", was established February 26, 1847, with John M. Chapin as first postmaster, assumed the town name upon Holyoke's incorporation. Though the name Hampden was considered, the area was subsequently named for earlier Springfield settler William Pynchon's son-in-law, Elizur Holyoke, who had first explored the area in the 1650s. Following land acquisitions and development by the Hadley Falls Company, the town of Holyoke was incorporated on March 14, 1850; the first official town meeting took place a week on March 22, 1850. A part of Northampton known as Smith's Ferry was separated from the rest of the town by the creation of Easthampton in 1809; the shortest path to downtown Northampton was on a road near the Connecticut River oxbow, subject to frequent flooding. The neighborhood became the northern part of Holyoke in 1909. Holyoke had few inhabitants until the construction of the dam and the Holyoke Canal System in 1849 and the subsequent construction of water-powered mills paper mills, the first and last to operate in the city, being those of the Parsons Paper Company.
At one point over 25 paper mills were in operation in the city. The Holyoke Machine Company, manufacturer of the Hercules water turbine, was among many industrial developments of the era. Holyoke's population rose from just under 5,000 in 1860 to over 60,000 in 1920. Due to this staggering growth the municipality was incorporated as a city on April 7, 1873, only 23 years after its initial incorporation as the "Town of Holyoke"; that year the city elected its first mayor, William B. C. Pearsons, who, a quarter-century earlier, had established himself among the first lawyers in the city, was the first editorial writer of the area newspaper-of-record, the Hampden Freeman, best known as the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram. In 1888, Holyoke's paper industry spurred the foundation of the American Pad & Paper Company, which as of 2007 is one of the largest suppliers of office products in the world. Holyoke was previously the location of the headquarters of the American Writing Paper Company, a trust company established in 1899 with the merging of 23 rag paper mills, 13 of which were located in Holyoke.
At one point the company was the largest producer of fine papers in the world, however incompetent leadership lacking technical knowledge of the industry, a
A telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals that are transmitted via cables and other communication channels to another telephone which reproduces the sound to the receiving user. In 1876, Scottish emigrant Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be granted a United States patent for a device that produced intelligible replication of the human voice; this instrument was further developed by many others. The telephone was the first device in history that enabled people to talk directly with each other across large distances. Telephones became indispensable to businesses and households and are today some of the most used small appliances; the essential elements of a telephone are a microphone to speak into and an earphone which reproduces the voice in a distant location. In addition, most telephones contain a ringer to announce an incoming telephone call, a dial or keypad to enter a telephone number when initiating a call to another telephone.
The receiver and transmitter are built into a handset, held up to the ear and mouth during conversation. The dial may be located either on a base unit to which the handset is connected; the transmitter converts the sound waves to electrical signals which are sent through a telephone network to the receiving telephone, which converts the signals into audible sound in the receiver or sometimes a loudspeaker. Telephones are duplex devices; the first telephones were directly connected to each other from one customer's office or residence to another customer's location. Being impractical beyond just a few customers, these systems were replaced by manually operated centrally located switchboards; these exchanges were soon connected together forming an automated, worldwide public switched telephone network. For greater mobility, various radio systems were developed for transmission between mobile stations on ships and automobiles in the mid-20th century. Hand-held mobile phones were introduced for personal service starting in 1973.
In decades their analog cellular system evolved into digital networks with greater capability and lower cost. Convergence has given most modern cell phones capabilities far beyond simple voice conversation, they may be able to record spoken messages and receive text messages and display photographs or video, play music or games, surf the Internet, do road navigation or immerse the user in virtual reality. Since 1999, the trend for mobile phones is smartphones that integrate all mobile communication and computing needs. A traditional landline telephone system known as plain old telephone service carries both control and audio signals on the same twisted pair of insulated wires, the telephone line; the control and signaling equipment consists of three components, the ringer, the hookswitch, a dial. The ringer, or beeper, light or other device, alerts the user to incoming calls; the hookswitch signals to the central office that the user has picked up the handset to either answer a call or initiate a call.
A dial, if present, is used by the subscriber to transmit a telephone number to the central office when initiating a call. Until the 1960s dials used exclusively the rotary technology, replaced by dual-tone multi-frequency signaling with pushbutton telephones. A major expense of wire-line telephone service is the outside wire plant. Telephones transmit both the outgoing speech signals on a single pair of wires. A twisted pair line rejects electromagnetic interference and crosstalk better than a single wire or an untwisted pair; the strong outgoing speech signal from the microphone does not overpower the weaker incoming speaker signal with sidetone because a hybrid coil and other components compensate the imbalance. The junction box arrests lightning and adjusts the line's resistance to maximize the signal power for the line length. Telephones have similar adjustments for inside line lengths; the line voltages are negative compared to earth. Negative voltage attracts positive metal ions toward the wires.
The landline telephone contains a switchhook and an alerting device a ringer, that remains connected to the phone line whenever the phone is "on hook", other components which are connected when the phone is "off hook". The off-hook components include a transmitter, a receiver, other circuits for dialing and amplification. A calling party wishing to speak to another party will pick up the telephone's handset, thereby operating a lever which closes the switchhook, which powers the telephone by connecting the transmitter and related audio components to the line; the off-hook circuitry has a low resistance which causes a direct current, which comes down the line from the telephone exchange. The exchange detects this current, attaches a digit receiver circuit to the line, sends a dial tone to indicate readiness. On a modern push-button telephone, the caller presses the number keys to send the telephone number of the called party; the keys control a tone generator circuit. A rotary-dial telephone uses pulse
Iowa is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states. In colonial times, Iowa was a part of Spanish Louisiana. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt. In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, financial services, information technology and green energy production. Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 U. S states, its capital and largest city by population is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in, its nickname is the Hawkeye State. Iowa derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many Native American tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east.
The southern border is the Des Moines River and a not-quite-straight line along 40 degrees 35 minutes north, as decided by the U. S. Supreme Court in Missouri v. Iowa after a standoff between Missouri and Iowa known as the Honey War. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed by rivers. Iowa has 99 counties; the state capital, Des Moines, is in Polk County. Iowa's bedrock geology increases in age from west to east. In northwest Iowa, Cretaceous bedrock can be 74 million years old. Iowa is not flat. Iowa can be divided into eight landforms based on glaciation, soils and river drainage. Loess hills lie along the western border of the state. Northeast Iowa along the Upper Mississippi River is part of the Driftless Area, consisting of steep hills and valleys which appear mountainous. Several natural lakes exist, most notably Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, East Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa. To the east lies Clear Lake. Man-made lakes include Lake Odessa, Saylorville Lake, Lake Red Rock, Coralville Lake, Lake MacBride, Rathbun Lake.
The state's northwest area has many remnants such as Barringer Slough. Iowa's natural vegetation is tallgrass prairie and savanna in upland areas, with dense forest and wetlands in flood plains and protected river valleys, pothole wetlands in northern prairie areas. Most of Iowa is used for agriculture; the Southern part of Iowa is categorised as the Central forest-grasslands transition ecoregion. The Northern, drier part of Iowa is categorised as the Central tall grasslands and is thus considered to be part of the Great Plains. There is a dearth of natural areas in Iowa; as of 2005 Iowa ranked 49th of U. S. states in public land holdings. Threatened or endangered animals in Iowa include the interior least tern, piping plover, Indiana bat, pallid sturgeon, the Iowa Pleistocene land snail, Higgins' eye pearly mussel, the Topeka shiner. Endangered or threatened plants include western prairie fringed orchid, eastern prairie fringed orchid, Mead's milkweed, prairie bush clover, northern wild monkshood.
There is little proof to suggest that the explosion in the number of high-density livestock facilities in Iowa has led to increased rural water contamination and a decline in air quality. In fact, covered manure storage in modern barns prevent that manure from washing away into surface water, as it does in open lots as snow melts and thunderstorms occur. Other factors negatively affecting Iowa's environment include the extensive use of older coal-fired power plants and pesticide runoff from crop production, diminishment of the Jordan Aquifer. Iowa has a humid continental climate throughout the state with extremes of both cold; the average annual temperature at Des Moines is 50 °F. Winters are harsh and snowfall is common. Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season. Iowa averages about 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year; the 30 year annual average Tornadoes in Iowa is 47. In 2008, twelve people were killed by tornadoes in Iowa, making it the deadliest year since 1968 and the second most tornadoes in a year with 105, matching the total from 2001.
Iowa summers are known for heat and humidity, with daytime temperatures sometimes near 90 °F and exceeding 100 °F. Average winters in the state have been known to drop well below freezing dropping below −18 °F. Iowa's all-time hottest temperature of 118 °F was recorded at Keokuk on July 20, 1934. Iowa has a smooth gradient of var
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC