The Francophone Name Authority Program: Progress for the Francophone Library Sector

A​s we are in the midst of Francophonie Month, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), and the Partenariat des bibliothèques universitaires du Québec [Quebec University Libraries Partnership] are pleased to celebrate their collaboration in the Francophone Name Authority Program, or Programme francophone des autorités de noms (PFAN). The PFAN governs how French-language authority records are created in the Canadiana file.

Over two million records in Canadiana

Thanks to the PFAN, the library community has acquired a powerful collaborative tool to facilitate the promotion and discoverability of French-language documentary heritage. Today, by merging the records of its 17 partners, the Canadiana file includes more than two million records: those of 15 French-language university libraries in Quebec and both national libraries (LAC and BAnQ).

The creation of the PFAN centred on the Canadiana file is a major project in the Francophone library community. It aims to reduce the number of standardization stages between institutions, facilitate exchanges, enrich the available data, and decentralize the maintenance of the file.

A Francophonie-wide project?

The fruitful collaboration around the PFAN is encouraging for the emergence of broader resource-pooling initiatives. Indeed, the participation of other partners could lead to a major unifying project within the French-speaking community, comparable to the Name Authority Cooperative Program, the English-language counterpart of the PFAN.


“LAC is pleased to share its authority file with its partners in Quebec in order to provide greater visibility to Canada’s Francophone documentary heritage, both in Canada and around the world.”

Caitlin Horrall, Director, Description Division, LAC

“It is a privilege to be able to share our name authorities relating to Quebec heritage with our PFAN partners. We hope that the entire French-speaking world will be able to benefit.”

Danielle Poirier, Director, Métadonnées et normalisation bibliographiques [Metadata and Bibliographic Standardization], BAnQ

“The consensus on the importance of having a single file for Francophone authorities, along with the willingness to work collaboratively to maintain it, emerged from the first meetings between LAC, the Francophone university libraries in Quebec, and BAnQ. This single authority file makes documentary research much easier for users.”

Julie Cardinal, Director, Traitement documentaire et métadonnées [Document Processing and Metadata], Université de Montréal Libraries

Date modified: