An online catalogue for all the french national museums: Joconde

Did you know? Since 1975, museum scientific staff have been helping set up a collective catalogue of the collections in the French National Museums. The general public can now find every object online, accompanied by a label often illustrated. 

Named JOCONDE, this continually updated catalogue is online at:

Formed over the centuries, the collections of French museums are known for their remarkable richness. Their abundance and the fact that they are spread all over France sometimes makes it difficult for the public to access them. Therefore, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication has initiated a collective catalogue of the major collections in French national museums.

Since 10 March 2004, this catalogue, previously comprising three databases, has been compiled into one single database, JOCONDE, making it fully accessible to users. It brings together fine arts and decorative arts collections, archaeology and antiquities collections, and collections in European and non-European ethnology as well as in history, science and technology.

This online access to the collections, on display or in reserves, is part of an educational and humanist tradition undertaken by the museums since their creation at the end of the 18th century. It is also the result of patient, systematic and in-depth study of the collections by the museums’ scientific staff: almost 600,000 labels are already online!

Finally, the online database clearly takes account of the four permanent missions defined for the museums of France in Law no 2002-5 of 4 January 2002:

  • to conserve, restore, study and enrich their collections;
  • to make their collections accessible to the widest possible public;
  • to develop and implement educational and cultural dissemination policies which ensure equal access to culture for all;
  • to contribute to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and research.


The Museums department in France wishes to see a wide range of visitors to the Joconde database, researchers, art enthusiasts around the world and those who are simply curious, and hopes to rekindle their desire to come and see the works in the Museums of France.  

Without the work of the JOCONDE administrators and contributors and the example they set, the website would never have seen the light of day