From the website (accessed 2019-10-23):
The VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) service provides libraries and library users with convenient access to the world’s major name authority files. VIAF Contributors regularly supply authority data that VIAF matches, links, and groups. All descriptions for a given entity are merged into a cluster that brings together the different names for that entity. This service allows researchers to identify names, locations, works, and expressions while preserving regional preferences for language, spelling, and script.