The Thesaurus Maintenance WG was established within the framework of DARIAH EU: The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities- a research infrastructure which aims to enhance and support digitally-enabled research and teaching across the humanities and arts.

The Thesaurus Maintenance WG aims at designing and establishing an overarching thesaurus for the humanities (BackBone Thesaurus, BBT for short). This work focuses on identifying the top-level-concepts (facets and hierarchies) that will become a common basis for thesaurus building in an effort to meet the demands for objectivity and interdisciplinarity. The WG exploits all the advantages offered by categorical semantics, in order to define the essential properties of the general concepts under which we subsume more specific terms.

The definition of the essential properties of the top level-concepts, which are acceptable regardless of the scientific field in which they apply, enables the classification in a consistent and objective way. One of the major advantages of this kind of classification is the potential of a sustainable and manageable expansion of the thesauri into new areas of knowledge, in which it continues to be effective and efficient, without forcing the experts to abandon their terminology. Furthermore, it enables collaboration, cross-disciplinary resource discovery, and detection of common principles and ensures compatibility with other thesauri that are restricted to particular areas of knowledge.