The Digital Encyclopedia of British Sociability in the Long Eighteenth Century

Explore the wide range of topics related to British sociability from 1650 to 1850 and discover how the circulation of models of sociability shaped European and colonial societies.

The Project

An innovative tool and an interdisciplinary approach

  • An open-access digital encyclopedia with a multi-modal search engine
  • An international and interdisciplinary project led by the GIS Sociabilités / Sociability since 2017
  • An EU-funded project (Horizon 2020-MSCA-RISE) since 2019, promoting staff exchange and intersectoral collaborations
  • A digital humanities project managed by an experienced editorial team
  • Encyclopedia entries written in English or French by eighteenth-century scholars in various fields (history, art history, literature, philosophy, material culture, linguistics ...) and reviewed by a dedicated committee
  • A complementary anthology of texts related to various aspects of sociability and connected to the entries

Find out more

Bringing academic research on eighteenth-century sociability to a wider audience

  • Explore the wide range of topics related to British Sociability from 1650 to 1850 and learn about the circulation of models of sociability that shaped European and colonial societies.
  • Discover the collaborative work between academic researchers on primary source material in their respective fields of expertise
  • Browse through 200 entries enriched with illustrations, hyperlinks, footnotes and further reading suggestions
  • Search by keywords, by alphabetical order or by categories (People, Places, Practices, Concepts, Objects) and sub-categories
  • Navigate easily through a dynamic and updatable resource
  • Share content with online media and social networks

Latest entries


Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768, was an example of restricted professional and cultural sociability. The statutes limited the number of members and imposed rules of good behavior to ensure that politeness prevailed within the institution.

Marie Du Deffand

Dans son salon de la rue Saint-Dominique, Mme Du Deffand reçoit de nombreux Anglais amateurs d’art et de littérature. Les lettres échangées avec Horace Walpole sont révélatrices de la contribution des correspondances franco-britanniques à la mise en place de nouveaux espaces de sociabilité réels et fantasmés.
Places Concepts Practices

English theatre (and transnational sociability)

In the so-called ‘long‘ eighteenth century (starting in 1660), the theatre can be seen as sociable space more than a site for a purely aesthetic experience. The sociability of the theatre however goes far beyond the space of the physical theatre itself.


As part of its H2020 programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE-2018)), the European Commission has granted significant financial support to DIGITENS, the flagship project of the Scientific Interest Grouping (GIS) “Sociabilités/Sociability”.


Latest News

Sociabilité et libertinage au siècle des Lumières

October 15th 2021
Cycle de conférences - 15 octobre & 9 novembre - dans la continuité de l'exposition "L'Empire des sens, de Boucher à Greuze" au Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris.

Sociability and Democratic Practices in Britain and Ireland, 1789-1832

September 15th 2021

Now available online: Journal LEAVES, n°12, July 2021, co-edited by Rémy Duthille, Magalie Fleurot & Laurence Machet

The Rules of the Game in the Early Modern Period

June 30th 2021
Appel à communications: Les règles du jeu à la période moderne Colloque organisé par l’unité de recherche VALE (Sorbonne Université) avec le concours du GIS Sociabilités Les règles du jeu à la période moderne 18 & 19 novembre 2021