The Service des musées de France offers to the publishers of collections management software that wish to do so, a procedure of validation of the computerized edition functionalities of inventory and deposit register, useful for museums in France within a regulatory framework.

Why a validation procedure?

Museums in France use various computer tools to describe and manage the collections under their responsibility. Some features of these tools have a regulatory impactand the preservation or dissemination of public collections. That is why the Museum Service of France offers to companies who wish to validate certain functionalities relevant to its expertise, in particular regulatory.
The goal is to be able provide museums in France with tools that comply with recommendations and specifications techniques produced by the Museum Service of France. Thus, the practices of computerization of collections are gaining in homogeneity and in quality.

Implications of this procedure

The validation procedure proposed to companies who so wish implies that they:
- implement the technical specifications of the French Museum Service,
- do evaluate the features concerned by the teams of the French Museum Service and thus benefit from their advice and business knowledge,
- offer these features to their customers on their tools, without specific development.

This validation refers to the date of deployment of the functionalities in the tool concerned, for the version released on that date.
Companies are then expected to follow developments in the specifications they are notified of and published on the Museums website.
Other versions of these tools have been deployed since this validation, it is up to the museums to ensure with the publisher that the relevant functionalities are operational in the currently released version.

Procedure procedure

Providers interested in this partnership are invited to study the prescriptions beforehand the French Museum Service and the reference documents cited below.

A first contact with the Collections Sub-Directorate is the occasion for a demonstration of the product developed by the service provider and on which it wishes to adapt or develop features to be validated. This is the occasion of a swap methodological information, questions and answers on the specifications of the museum service of France. This meeting determines theopportunity module development and/or validation. If yes: the objectives of the partnership are defined with the teams of the museum service of France.
Follow several working sessions, in person or remotely, with the Collections Sub-Directorate of the French Museum Service, which check for a good understanding of the specifications and proper operation of the elements developed.

The service provider retains control of the calendar analysis and development of functionalities. It can be combined with the support of one or more testing museums.

At the end of the validation procedure, the shared validated functionalities are publicly reported by the French Museum Service.

The IT tools on which these functionalities are focused meet various objectives. Some are software programs to manage collections of museum objects from their acquisition until they are put online; others are tools strictly dedicated to inventory and regulatory proofing or to publication on Mona Lisa.

Museums are encouraged to inform themselves as fully as possible to ensure that the tool meets their needs precisely evaluated beforehand.

Scope and description of the computerized publishing functionalities of the regulatory inventory and filing registers

The computerized edition of the inventory and deposit register is a possibility offered to museums by the decree of 25 May 2004 setting the inventory and proofing standards for museums in France.

The computerized edition of the Inventory and Deposit Register and the Ten-Year Record of Collections features on some collection management tools allow museums to use the IT tool to meet their regulatory obligations (in this case, producing a compliant regulatory registry) and integrating the regulatory data collected during the inventory listing into their information system in the long term.

With these features, the museum can entering, extracting, editing and printing its inventory and repository registers using the IT tool and integrating the registration step into the inventory in the overall collection automation process.

Within a collection management tool applying the specifications of the French Museum Service, these functionalities are separated from those of management and documentation. They allow the capture and printing of information relating to the inventory of assets allocated to collections (assets acquired or inventoried retrospectively) and goods received on deposit, according to the regulations in force.

Once entered and validated, regulatory inventory data is no longer editable. They are automatically passed on to the management and documentation modules to constitute or enrich the documentation records without re-entering the information.

The preset print format, combined with the input features, allows to establish the register annually inventory of collections assets and the register of assets received on deposit in paper form, possibly illustrated, classified in order of inventory or deposit numbers, according to regulatory headings and with title page.

Validation steps

  • Implementation of the input grid assigned to the registers (according to the regulations in force) from the existing fields in the software documentation database
  • Checking the mechanics of locking inventory information
  • Evaluation of the print formats of registers
  • Verification of thedisplay and structure information, entries and printouts,
  • Final validation given by the collections sub-directorate (after possible demonstration of the tested module)


Reference documents


Validated functionalities

ToolSocietyDate of validation of inventory functionalities
ActimuseoA&A Partners01/2009
Armadillo museArmadillo02/2018
Collective AccessSAS Ideesculture12/2013
Flora museumsDecalog08/2011
Micromuseum V7Axiell10/2018
WebmuseoA&A Partners10/2011


Services and contacts

For the collections sub-directorate of the French Museum Service: Carine Prunet in connection with the Office of Inventory of Collections and Circulation of Cultural Property