Online Help

Homepage/Logging on to the site


Guest user access

The site is accessible to guests and registered users. However, guests do not have access to all of the site’s functions such as saving selections, receiving and reading messages, placing orders or setting user preferences.

Creating an account

You can create an account by registering on the site (click on the “Create an account” link in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage). The site administrator will send you an e-mail confirming the activation of your account as soon as possible.

Authenticated access

To use all the site’s features, type in your user name and the password you chose when registering and that was confirmed by e-mail and click on the ">" button. If you don’t have an account, you may request one by filling out the registration form on the homepage (Create an account). You can ask for help anywhere in the site by dragging the cursor over the different icons or areas of text to open small pop-up windows.

The “News” section


This section has the latest documents added to the database, which are presented in the form of a report. For each group or report, you’ll see a thumbnail of the reference document and a descriptive summary of the batch’s theme. The exact number of documents in the batch appears in the thumbnail’s lower left-hand corner. This is the case for all of the site’s sections.

- To view all the documents in a batch, click on the visual or the magnifying glass icon in the thumbnail’s lower right-hand corner.

- To select the batch documents article, click on the "+" sign in the lower right-hand corner of the thumbnail. The documents will be added to the open basket (basket management banner).

Scroll down the main screen to see all these functions.

The “Portfolios” section


This section contains three folders where you will find a group of selections, chosen by the images department team, featuring part of our photograph collection.

The “Videos” section


This section features the latest videos added to the database. You can search all the videos in the database by using the “Types of media” filter.

The “Authors” section


This section displays the names of some authors as a way of taking you through our collections. It will eventually include the names of all the authors in our collections.



The part at the top of the screen lets you perform a simple search at any time. It is made up of:

- A full-text search field (spoken language)

- A magnifying glass button to start your search

Using the quick search field:

The search engine can perform a full-text search. In other words, the expression or words you type into the search field will be searched in all the main fields (title, caption, key words, etc.) making up the documents’ description page. However, this type of search leaves out some fields that are searchable using the advanced search field in the different sections.

How to formulate a search

You can look for one or more words using the following operators: AND OR, EXCEPT (and their symbols +, -, | ). The default operator is AND, so typing it is unnecessary. For example, you can type “women work” instead of “women and work”. In any case, remember to put a space between the operators and the searched words. Otherwise, the sequence will be considered a whole expression.

For example, type in "woman + work" and not "woman+work", which would search for a word that does not exist.

Note: the search engine is not case-sensitive (capitals or lowercase will return the same results) and is not sensitive either to plural forms, including irregular plurals, or accents.

Example: searching for the words "cars" and "car" or “horses” and “horse” will bring up the same results.

You can search for the beginning of a word (at least three characters) followed by a joker: * or % (equivalent to “ends with“).

For example, the results of a search for sport* (or sport%) will return documents indexed with the words sport, sports, sporty, sportswear, sportsman, etc.

Another example: a search for cha*t (or cha%t) will return the documents indexed with the words chat, chart, chapter, etc.

The search engine cannot return results for search strings beginning with joker characters. It sends a message that the request is invalid.


If you’re searching for an expression or a title, it is advisable to put it between inverted commas. (Example: portrait Louis XIV will bring up 43 results whereas “Portrait of Louis XIV” between inverted commas will only yield eight containing that exact word sequence in one of the fields of the description page).

Using associated keywords

After performing a search or consulting a batch (report or portfolios) of documents, the system displays the first 100 keywords appearing in the request results in the left-hand window. The list is therefore not exhaustive. Click on one of the terms to start your search of the batch of responses starting with the term used. This tool will help you narrow down your search.

Filtered searches

By default, the search includes the entire database. The advanced mode performs a more specific search with filters targeting the type of media or a named group. The filters restrict the search.

Advanced searches

There are three ways to perform advanced searches:

Full-text searches

This search mode is the same as a simple search. You can limit it to a range of dates. They are either the dates the photograph was taken or the date a photographed document was created. Filters targeting the type of documents can be added to a full-text search.

Section (field) searches

This advanced search mode offers autocomplete (word prediction). Depending on the field searched, the system predicts the word or phrase in the database that you want to type and completes it for you.

This solution combines all the fields to define a search by field or several fields. Select the field in the proposed list, choose the most appropriate operator for your request and type in your search, using autocomplete if available. The operators proposed are: is equal to, begins with, contains, is empty.

The operator “contains” is only available for the fields in the database that have been full-text indexed (ex.: titles and captions).

The joker character does not work for field (section) searches.

You can screen your field search by ticking several filter boxes.

Keyword searches

This advanced search mode also has auto complete (word prediction), but you must type in the full word and validate it by hitting the paragraph return key or clicking on the magnifying glass button for a proposal of terms to appear in the box below your typing.

You can select terms by double-clicking on them. They will then appear in the box on the right.

Before starting the search, you must choose the operator (AND or OR) that will connect the keyword(s) in your request to each other (box in the upper right-hand corner).

You can screen your search by keyword(s) and restrict it to a type of document or membership in a category by ticking or unticking filter boxes.

By default, the search includes all types and categories combined.

Displaying search results


Display formats

The formats are:

- Mosaic by default

- Mini-mosaic

- List

To display results, you can choose the number of lines per page and the order of results from the most recent to the oldest document (and vice versa).

To move from one page to another, use the navigation buttons located above the main window displaying the results of your request and at the bottom of each page of those results


To zoom a page, click on the thumbnail or on the magnifying glass icon located in the lower right-hand corner of each thumbnail. The document’s description appears with detailed information: date, title, caption, copyright, keywords, etc. In mosaic or mini-mosaic mode, if you swipe the mouse over a thumbnail, a pop-up window will appear showing more information. Click on it to make the zoom (complete) page appear. The zoom page also allows you to start searching for one of the terms located in the keywords or in any other field for which a hypertext link has been defined (underlined terms).

Downloading a document


Depending on your access rights (once you are logged on), you can download a low-definition document from the: Depending on your access rights (once you are logged on), you can download a low-definition document from the:

- mosaic (icon in the lower right-hand corner of each thumbnail)

- current selection (download by batch)

- zoom (icon at the bottom of the zoom on the navigation bar)

- messages section when it is activated and depending on your access rights.

The documents’ sizes and formats are displayed every time you download.

If you download a document other than the high-resolution document original, do not modify the file extension (HD10 for a medium-resolution document). The system will automatically rename the file during the downloading process.

Applicable law and competent courts:


The authorisations and transfers of rights granted by the CMN are subject to French law. The competent courts of Paris will settle any disputes that may arise.

You can view a history of your last 30 downloads by visiting the "My Downloads” page.

The “Portfolios” section


This section contains three folders where you will find a group of selections, chosen by the images department team, featuring part of our photograph collection.

Creating and saving baskets


The basket manager lets you create and save selections.

You can create and save selections of documents from search results or from baskets to reorganise previous selections, which eventually can be used to place an online order, download or temporarily save a selection. During a session, you have a temporary (new) basket and the list of your baskets is saved.

Creating a basket

Important: your basket is limited to 50 documents.

To create or fill a new basket, first make sure that a new basket is waiting in the basket manager or that an existing basket is open. In the mosaic window displaying the search results, click on the "select" icon at the bottom of each document, to the right of existing selections or at the bottom of the reports (series). Then click on the "Save" button located in the basket manager order banner. You can fill your basket from a selection, thumbnail or detail page of a document. You can also fill a current basket or complete your saved baskets with a document or all the documents contained in a message that the site administrators send you.

Saving a basket

Current baskets are automatically saved. Any addition or deletion of documents is immediately saved. To save a new basket, click on the order banner’s “Save” button and name the basket. A new empty basket will then open.

Retrieving a saved basket

To retrieve a selection of documents (basket) that you’ve already saved, click on the box located on the left-hand side of the basket management banner (scrolling menu). The list of your baskets in order of creation will appear. To open a basket, click on its name. This basket can be displayed as a mosaic.

Adding a document to a basket

To add a document to a saved basket, open the basket by clicking on its name in the scrolling menu, start your search and click on the "Add to your basket" icon located at the bottom of each thumbnail. The system automatically saves updates. To save the basket’s new content under a different name, click on the "Save" button located on the right and type in the new name. Note: if you add the same document to your basket more than once, it will be counted just once and you will receive a message to this effect.

Deleting a document from a basket

To remove a document from a basket, open the basket in the manager and click on the "X" located at the bottom of each thumbnail. Your basket will be updated automatically and saved.

Deleting a basket

You can delete a basket by opening the manager and clicking on the “Delete” button, which will request confirmation before deletion. Deletion is irreversible.

Downloading a current basket

The manager’s "Download" button appears only if a basket is open. First make sure that the basket contains all the documents you have chosen. Depending on your access rights, you can download your current basket’s contents, but first you must create a file grouping the various documents together.

When the dialogue box opens, follow the instructions. Choose the "Save” or “Open” option. If you’re saving, you’ll find the file by default in your “Downloads” directory. It will be followed by a number if it’s already on your hard drive (portfolio(1).zip).

To retrieve the downloaded file’s content, first make sure that your computer has software allowing you to process zip files and retrieve the jpeg files found in them.

You can view the last 30 downloads by clicking on “Downloads” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

E-mailing the contents of a current basket

Depending on your access rights, you can e-mail your selection’s contents. Select the basket and click on the “Send” button. A window listing your documents will open. It must be filled out before you click on the “Send” button located after the list of documents. A confirmation page will be displayed.

Ordering a current basket

Click on the “Order” button to order a basket’s contents. Important: the number of documents ordered per basket is limited to 50.

The list of the basket’s documents is displayed and you will be asked to fill in several mandatory fields about your project (fill free to fill out the “comments” section). You must describe how you intend to use each document. This description can apply to the whole list or to each individual document.

Important: To place an order, you must read and accept the terms and conditions and check the box affirming you have done so. Until you have checked the box, you cannot move on to the next page to place the order.

The next page displays the information about your project. At this point, you can change it by returning to the previous step or confirm your order by clicking on the “Order” button.

A confirmation page appears informing you, among other things, of your order number (the number the site administrators will use to process your order).

A record of your order listing all the documents and summarising the information necessary for their dissemination is created in the “Orders” section of the banner in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This recapitulation can be printed out.

You’ll find all your orders in this section. The orders are colour coded: red for “unprocessed”, orange for “being processed”, green for “delivered”, black for “billed and closed”.

Click on them to access the content.

Delivery of orders


Orders are delivered on the “Messages” page, where you’ll find the list of orders sent.

Click on one of them to see the delivery’s content. You can download the order either all at once (the “Download all” button) or one document at a time (by clicking the “Download” button attributed to each).

You can also print out the delivery.



The “Messages” page also serves as an inbox for any messages (selection, estimate, etc.) or visual(s) we might you send in the framework of a pre-order proposal.


The information in this document is subject to change without prior notice and does not represent any commitment by the Centre des monuments nationaux. The interface described in this document is licensed and can be used or copied only according to the terms of this agreement. Copying the software to any media is prohibited by law unless specifically allowed in the agreement. The license allows making copies of the software programmes in order to save them. No part of the documentation may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, for any purpose without written consent from the Centre des monuments nationaux or from our service provider.