Recently, various kinds of multimedia application systems have actively been developed based on the achievement of advanced high sped communication networks, computer processing technologies, and digital contents-handling technologies. Under this background, this paper proposed a new distributed multimedia database system which can effectively perform a new function of cooperative retrieval among distributed databases. The proposed system introduces a new concept of 'Retrieval manager' which functions as an intelligent controller so that the user can recognize a set of distributed databases as one logical database. The logical database dynamically generates and performs a preferred combination of retrieving parameters on the basis of both directory data and the system environment. Moreover, a concept of 'domain' is defined in the system as a managing unit of retrieval. The retrieval can effectively be performed by cooperation of processing among multiple domains. Communication language and protocols are also defined in the system. These are used in every action for communications in the system. A language interpreter in each machine translates a communication language into an internal language used in each machine. Using the language interpreter, internal processing, such internal modules as DBMS and user interface modules can freely be selected. A concept of 'content-set' is also introduced. A content-set is defined as a package of contents. Contents in the content-set are related to each other. The system handles a content-set as one object. The user terminal can effectively control the displaying of retrieved contents, referring to data indicating the relation of the contents in the content- set. In order to verify the function of the proposed system, a networked electronic museum was experimentally built. The results of this experiment indicate that the proposed system can effectively retrieve the objective contents under the control to a number of distributed domains. The result also indicate that the system can effectively work even if the system becomes large.