The photographic repertory

A unique tool of heritage management, the Photographic Repertoire of the Moveable Art Objects in Places of Worship in Belgium (Répertoire photographique du mobilier des sanctuaires de Belgique) is also a reference work for scientific research.



Gathering information for the repertory began in 1967 when the Culture Ministers asked IRPA to undertake an inventory of the movable art objects in places of worship in Belgium. After the second Vatican council took the decision to modify many parts of the liturgy, many pieces of furniture were no longer used, such as communion benches and pulpits. That is why it was important to make an inventory.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]-->

For each province, an art historian is then in charge of making an inventory of this heritage, based on existing documents. The works of art are systematically photographed and so some 250,000 photos are taken in about 15 years of work!

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]-->

And the result was 213 volumes organized by districts. The Repertory lists all the objects according to the place of conservation. After a short description of where they are kept, the works of art, listed according to IRPA’s own keyword system, are briefly identified. Then there is the number of the negative, allowing the user to order the photo of the object or to find it easily in our photo library online.



The publications are sold out, but a copy or scan can be obtained at our Information Centre.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to know in which volume a particular place of workship is being addressed.




The Repertory is divided by provinces and subdivided by judicial districts. It is written in French for the French-speaking provinces of the Walloon Region, in Flemish for the provinces of the Flemish Region, in both languages for the Brussels Region and in French and German for the German districts. The volumes are not illustrated, except for the inventory of the districts of Bruges and the German version of the German districts. However, each object has the reference of the photo found in IRPA’s photo library. Thanks to this number, you can easily view the picture via the photo library online.