ISNI Origins

In 2010, six major organizations came together to fund and establish the ISNI International Agency (ISNI-IA) as a vehicle to launch the ISNI standard.  These Founding Members contributed initial data loads, specialist expertise and software/database design to get the new standard off the ground.  The Founding Members were:

  • CENL (the Conference of European National Librarians, jointly represented by the British Library and Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF))

  • CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers)

  • IFRRO (International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations)

  • OCLC

  • ProQuest

  • SCAPR (Societies' Council for the Collective Management of Performers' Rights)

Five organizations associated with the Founding Members are still actively involved with ISNI and provide the majority of the members of the ISNI-IA Board:

  • The British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, jointly continuing the earlier involvement begun by CENL

  • CISAC – Members of CISAC are 229 authors’ societies from 121 countries. CISAC indirectly represents around 3 million creators and publishers of artistic works in all genres including music, drama, literature, audiovisual, photography and the visual arts.

  • IFRRO – Some 90 Reproduction Rights Organizations plus about 55 national and international author, publisher and visual creator associations are IFRRO Members and Associate Members.

  • OCLC – OCLC is a non-profit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalogue, lend, preserve and manage library materials.

OCLC has played a dual role throughout ISNI’s development to date, both as Board Member and as the technology supplier that has constructed and maintained the ISNI database and associated algorithms and software.  Operationally, OCLC operates the ISNI Assignment Agency (ISNI-AA) on ISNI-IA’s behalf.

In a parallel development, the ISNI Quality Team (ISNI-QT) has been operated and and supported throughout this period by expert staff from the British Library and Bibliothèque nationale de France. More recently, both organizations have also become ISNI Registration Agencies in their own right.