the project


The BEINFRAT-project is a network project, funded by the Belgian Science Policy. The call for International Networking of the Federal Scientific Institutions invited federal scientific institutions to submit proposals for international networking in the domain of cultural heritage, including tangible, intangible and natural heritage, with partners of countries of their choice.

The project was proposed by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels, an institute with an expertise in art historical and archaeological research, scientific analysis and restoration of cultural heritage. 

The project Belgium Initiative to Broaden the Network for the French Translation of the AAT (BEINFRAT) was selected for financial support for a two-year period.

The project took off in January 2019 and ended in June 2022.


The project consortium is represented by four French speaking countries, by the Getty Research Institute and the Belgian Science Policy :

  • Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (BE)
  • Art & History Museum (BE)
  • University of Zürich (CH)
  • Institut national d’histoire de l’art (FR)
  • Canadian Heritage Information Network (CA)
  • Fédération et Ressources sur l’Antiquité (FR)
  • Getty Research Institute (USA)
  • Belgian Science Policy (BE)

project Mission

The BEINFRAT-project wants to tackle the problem of the partially missing French translations in the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). This multilingual thesaurus has been developed since the late 1970’s by the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, more specifically by the department Getty Vocabulary Program. The Art and Architecture Thesaurus is used worldwide by museums, libraries and other cultural institutions.

The AAT – along with other thesauri published by the Getty such as the Thesaurus Geographical Names (TGN) and the Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) – is considered an international standard, that can be used as a cataloguing, retrieval and research tool. It is the “glue” that connects cultural heritage collections no matter what local database or language is used to digitize cultural heritage collections.

The popularity of the AAT is still growing, due to its elaborate scope and hierarchic structure and its compliance with ISO and NISO standards. However, the most powerful feature of the AAT is its multilingualism and as such becoming an international standard.

The AAT is completely or partially available in:

  • English
  • Dutch
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese

The BEINFRAT project wants to create a solid network of french-speaking partners from around the world, with the ultimate goal the translation of the  AAT in the French language.

For statistics about the Getty click here.


The Art & Architecture Thesaurus

The Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) is one of many structured resources developed by the Getty Research Institute, that can be used to improve access to information for art, architecture, and other material culture. Through rich metadata and links, it is hoped that Getty vocabularies will provide a powerful conduit for research and discovery for digital art history and related disciplines.

Examples of usage of the AAT:

  • for cataloging collections in collection management services (CMS)
  • for the retrieval of information in databases or online catalogs
  • a research tool providing contextual information about concepts 
  • published as linked open data to create linked data on the web

You can access the AAT here.