Monte Carlo (MC) methods provide ideal data sets to assess reconstruction and correction techniques in emission tomography (ET). Although several ET-dedicated MC codes are available, their use is hindered by the heavy computation burden required for high statistics simulations as well as by the need to adapt the code to the purpose of the individual user. In this work a publicly accessible database of MC-simulated ET data sets (the MC-ET database) was created and published on an Internet web site (http://www.ibfm.cnr.it/mcet/index.html), in order to provide MC-simulated data ready to be downloaded and used by researchers at different sites with similar evaluation purposes. At present, the MC-ET database provides direct access to MC-simulated raw data of unscattered, scattered and total events: (a) obtained by different MC codes, (b) relative to different radioactive sources, from simple geometrical phantoms to studies of normal and pathological subjects and (c) derived from different SPECT and PET scanners. The main features of the MC-ET data sets are: (a) validation by comparison with measured data, (b) classification according to pre-defined database characteristics, (c) common-use file format and (d) easy and free access and download.