The Musée Comtois collections 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 impact of the century's great economic and social changes. From the 1930s onwards, he collected objects that were witnesses to Comtois 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 housed at the Citadelle since 1960, the Musée comtois has enriched its collections thanks to numerous donations from private individuals. Not forgetting the Folklore Comtois association, which played a key role in the museum's development: in 2007, for example, it donated a major collection of negatives to the City of Besançon.
Some of the collections have been digitized and are available online on the Mémoire vive website of the City of Besançon, and on the Portail des Arts de la Marionnette.