The Petit Palais’ scientific documentation, which is regularly updated from auction catalogues, exhibition catalogues and publications received by the museum, consists of four broad types of record :
- Object files detailing the identity, history and iconography of the Petit Palais works of art. Researchers can find specifications (creator of the work, title, materials, dimensions, origin, date, inventory number, etc.), photographs, bibliographic references, articles on the iconography or background to its creation, extracts from exhibition catalogues as well as a section dedicated to analogies.
- Artist files containing biographical and bibliographical information, documentation on an artist’s solo exhibitions and on works held in other institutions in France and abroad, or from the art market.
- Records of the Petit Palais donors which list all the works donated or bequeathed by a single individual (collectors, artists, artist’s relatives, etc.) on one or more occasions and which bring together mainly administrative documents (deliberations of the Council of Paris, extracts from the official council bulletin), biographical information on the donor and correspondence.
- “Technical” records for objets d’art (glass, majolica, painted enamel, tapestry, furniture, jewellery, etc.) consisting of technical articles and examples collected by scanning auction catalogues.
The computerized inventory of the collections
Computerisation and digitisation of the collections began in 2005 and is ongoing.
The museum database is enhanced and updated on a regular basis and contains almost 41,500 records of works and 5,700 records of artists.