The AAT is a structured vocabulary currently containing around 268,650 terms and other information about concepts. Terms in AAT may be used to describe art, architecture, decorative arts, material culture, and archival materials. The target audience includes museums, libraries, visual resource collections, archives, conservation projects, cataloging projects, and bibliographic projects. Terms for any concept may include the plural form of the term, singular form, natural order, inverted order, spelling variants, scientific and common forms, various forms of speech, and synonyms that have various etymological roots. Among these terms, one is flagged as the preferred term, or descriptor. There may be multiple descriptors reflecting usage in multiple languages. Preferences for individual contributors may differ and are noted.
The focus of each AAT record is a concept. Currently here are around 51,470 concepts in the AAT. In the database, each concept’s record (also called asubject) is identified by a unique numeric ID. Linked to each concept record are terms, related concepts, a parent (that is, a position in the hierarchy), sources for the data, and notes. The temporal coverage of the AAT ranges from Antiquity to the present and the scope is global.