The collections of the Musée comtois owe a great deal to one man: Abbé Jean Garneret. Inspired by the Scandinavian model, he embarked on field ethnology in order to safeguard a world that was disappearing under the effect of the great economic and social changes of the century: from the 1930s onwards, he collected objects that were witnesses to Comtoise life, on his own initiative and then at the request of the Direction des Musées de France and the Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires.
Created in 1946 and installed at the Citadelle since 1960, the Musée comtois has enriched its collections thanks to numerous donations from individuals. Not forgetting the Folklore Comtois association and its predominant role: in 2007, for example, it donated a very important collection of negatives to the City of Besançon.
Some of the collections have been digitised and are available online on the website Mémoire vive of the City of Besançon, and on the Portal of Puppetry Arts.