This periodical, established by M. Perreaux, was initially known as the Moniteur officiel des Etablissements français dans l'Inde:journal administratif, judiciaire, commercial et littéraire. A government decision of 8th February 1850 authorized M. Perreaux to start the journal and become its editor-in-chief. It also allowed him to avail of the government press and its workers for its publication (see Bulletin Officiel des Etablissements Français de l’Inde (1850), pages 33-34). The journal ran under the name of Moniteur officiel from 8th March 1850 to 30th December 1893 and became part of the official publications of the colony.
The decision to change the name to Journal officiel des Etablissements français dans l'Inde with effect from 1st of January 1894 was taken on 28th December 1893 (see Bulletin Officiel (1893), p. 588). The order does not give any reason for the change in name. The Journal officiel had two sections: 1) an official section that contained the legislative and administrative acts of the local government, those of the metropolitan government to be promulgated in the colony, and administrative announcements/notices (e.g.. tenders, competitions for government jobs etc.) several of which were translated into the Tamil vernacular 2) a non-official section that gave information on the life of the colony: for e.g.. receptions, celebrations of the national day, prize distribution at the college, meetings of the General Council, obituaries, statements of civil status and acts of renunciation (actes de renunciation), movement of ships to and from the colony, list of passengers, departure of post, municipal music, meteorological information, legal and judicial announcements (e.g.. auction of seized property), commercial advertisements etc. The contributions of the various services was collected by the Directorate of Interior and after approval of the Governor handed over to the Government Press for printing. In 1884, the print-run of the journal was 325 (258 for free distribution plus 67 for sale) (see Bulletin officiel 1884, p. 179).
At the end of 1910, the decision was taken to stop the publication of the Bulletin officiel des Etablissements Français de l’Inde and to continue only with the Journal officiel (see Bulletin officiel vol. 83 (1910), pages 980-981). The decision states that the Journal officiel will be published in 2 parts: one will contain the “actes” of the Metropolis [i.e. Paris] and those of the local Government, including promotions, nominations, transfers and all decisions concerning personnel. The second will consist of official notices, legal announcements, various notices and all non-official publications. From 1911 to March 1948, 2 separate issues of the Journal official were published on the same day every week, one containing the official part and the second the non-official one. By an order of 30th March 1948, it was decided to stop publishing the Journal officiel in 2 separate parts and to instead publish it in 1 part only, in quarto-size and issued every Saturday. (Journal officiel 1948 Jan-Mar, p. 199). This volume contained both the official and non-official information and was printed in two columns. The subscription rate of the Journal appeared at the head of every issue. It was 10 Rs or 14 FF in 1911, but was reduced to 3 Rs and 8 FF in September 1912.
The title of the journal was changed in 1943 from Journal des Etablissements Français dans l’Inde to Journal officiel de l’Inde Française. The last issue to come out under this title was that of 22nd Oct 1954. The de facto transfer of power from the colonial administration to the Indian authorities took place on 1st November 1954. Thereafter the gazette changed its name to La Gazette de l’Etat de Pondichéry, Karikal, Mahé and Yanaon. It continues to be published to this day. The frequency of the periodical saw several changes in the course of its publication. The issues initially came out once a week and then, from 1880, twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. In the first half of 1894 the periodical again became a weekly to be remade a bi-weekly from July 1894. In July 1897, it went back to being a weekly till July 1908. From August 1908 to July 1910 it was published twice a week Finally from August 1910, it reverted to being a weekly and remained so till the end, appearing every Tuesday from 1910 to mid-1915, then every Saturday till 1951, and then again every Tuesday from 1951 to 1954. The IFP has the 1st parts of all the volumes from 1911 to 1954. However, it has the 2nd parts only for the years 1911 to 1917 and 1941. The Decennial Directory (Répertoire décennal) of the Bulletin officiel des établissements français de l’Inde for the years 1907-1916 indexes the volumes 1911-1916 of the Journal officiel, since the latter took over from the Bulletin as the administration’s official gazette.
53 volumes with 7828 issues and 133 supplements, ranging from 24 cm to 33 cm in height.