PND service (person name data file)

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB)

DARIAH-DE offers a DNB personal name data file REST Service, which can be used to identify quickly PND IDs.

The personal name data file of the German National library (PND) – since April 2012 part of the more comprehensive common standard file GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei) – has been developed since the mid-1990s and served primarily to harmonize the application forms of author names from the context of the determination of title data and their authors in libraries. The focus was on the creation of individualized data records, which, for example, clearly identified persons of the same name. Each data record was assigned a nine-digit number combination as identifier, the so-called PND number. In the course of the integration of the PND into the GND were now converted to 10-digit IDs.

Reasons for a personal standard file service

In addition to geographical information, biographical and personal information represent data collected and processed in all disciplines, as they have an interdisciplinary character and can be used in a wide variety of research contexts. At the same time, personal information can be clearly referenced. The fundamental problem is the different spelling of person names. Therefore, there will be found - depending on the historical, linguistic, geographic and temporal context - very different synonymous names. An example is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, for whom, the PND currently contains 67 synonymous spellings. It is generally recommended to obtain the personal information on standard data records. This is the only way to ensure that they are clearly referenced and the research data described can be used interoperably. In addition, the data quality of the standard data is ensured by an editorial support. While setting up an individualized standard data record, the DNB also establishes the forms of application of names; Common different spellings (or pseudonyms) are also included.


All research projects which do not just want to refer to persons from the German-speaking world, can refer uniformly to the VIAF-ID, since international personal information may be found here. But the national numbering systems are already included in the VIAF (so this is a virtual norm file created from the matching of currently 25 standard systems from 20 partners). In this way it is also perfectly legitimate to continue using the PND (or GND) as an ID.

While many research and edition projects lead to internal name files due to gaps in the PND, personal data repository of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences was a first step towards the gathering of such information in the context of the humanities.

The data provided by the DARIAH-DE are currently based on an eXist database that has been equipped with a deduction of the PND data. The instance of the PND service is also used for the purpose of autocompletion of person names (for example, in the TextGrid Metadata Editor). The use of the service is documented in the public DARIAH-DE-Wiki (person name data file).

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