Description and objectives

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 with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF, Paris), The National Archives (TNA, Kew) and the Musée Cognacq-Jay (Paris-Musées)
  • 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

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, archivists and curators 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
  • Use this free-access platform as a teaching and research tool for school and university courses

The Project History

A GIS Sociability project that...

  • originated in a MSHB (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme en Bretagne) project (2009-2012), Socialum, « La Sociabilité en France et en Grande-Bretagne au Siècle des Lumières : l’émergence d’un nouveau modèle de société »
  • was boosted by the active and fruitful collaboration between the research labs HCTI and CECJI (UBO) and PLEIADE (USPN) and developed by the GRISOL (Groupe de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur la Sociabilité des Lumières)
  • relies on the research published since 2012 by its extended network of scholars in a dedicated bilingual collection co-edited by French and British academics, Transversales (Paris, Le Manuscrit) as well as in various books and journals (Boydell, BSECS/Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Palgrave Macmillan,…)
  • has become a European Project (H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie RISE Project: DIGITENS, 2019-2022) that involves the secondments of its members to British, French and Canadian institutions (BnF, Musée Cognacq-Jay, the National Archives, McGill Library) followed by the production of ground-breaking entries.


Partnerships and institutional support

DIGIT.EN.S is a GIS Sociabilités project supported by H2020 funding and involving a number of research units.

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A constantly growing number of GIS members, academic and non-academic French, British, German, Italian, and Canadian institutions :
  • Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald (Germany)
  • GRHS, Groupe de Recherche en Histoire des Sociabilités/UQAM (Canada)
  • Musée Cognacq-Jay (Paris Musées)
  • Sheffield University (UK)
  • Sorbonne Université
  • The National Archives (UK)
  • The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University (Canada)
  • The University of Warwick (UK)
  • Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara (Italy)
  • Université de Bretagne Occidentale, UBO (founding member)
  • Université de Lille
  • Université Paris Cité
  • Université Grenoble-Alpes
  • Université Rennes 2
  • Université Sorbonne Paris Nord (formerly Paris XIII, founding member)
The H2020-DIGITENS consortium:
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)
  • Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald
  • Kazimierz Wielki University (Poland)
  • The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University
  • Musée Cognacq-Jay (Paris Musées)
  • Sorbonne Université
  • The National Archives (TNA)
  • The University of Warwick
  • Université de Bretagne Occidentale, UBO
  • Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara
  • Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Université Sorbonne Paris Nord (Paris XIII)
Research units:
  • ACE - Anglophonie : communautés, écritures (EA 1796) – Rennes 2
  • Arts : pratiques et poétiques (EA 3208) – Rennes 2
  • CECILLE - Centre d'Études en Civilisations Langues et Lettres Étrangères (ULR 4074) - Lille
  • CELLAM - Centre d'études des langues et littératures anciennes et modernes (EA 3206) – Rennes 2
  • CRM - Centre Roland Mousnier (UMR 8996) - Sorbonne Université
  • GRHS - Groupe de Recherche en Histoire des Sociabilités - UQAM
  • HCTI - Héritages et constructions dans le texte et l’image (EA 4249) - UBO
  • ILCEA4 - Institut des langues et cultures d’Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie (EA 7356) – Grenoble-Alpes
  • IRHIS - Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion (UMR 8529) - Lille
  • LARCA - Laboratoire de recherche sur les cultures anglophones (UMR 8225) – Université Paris Cité
  • LARHRA - Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes (UMR 5190) – Grenoble-Alpes
  • Litt&Arts - Arts et pratiques du texte, de l'image, de l'écran et de la scène (UMR 5316) – Grenoble-Alpes
  • LUHCIE - Laboratoire Universitaire Histoire Cultures Italie Europe (EA 7421) – Grenoble-Alpes
  • PLEIADE - Centre de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire en Lettres, Langues, Sciences Humaines et des Sociétés (UR 7338) - USPN
  • TEMPORA (EA 7468) – Rennes 2
  • VALE - Voix anglophones, Littérature et Esthétique (UR 4085) – Sorbonne Université



The Encyclopedia Board

General Editors :
Valérie Capdeville
Alain Kerhervé
Kimberley Page-Jones

General Editor (2016-2022) :
Annick Cossic


The Editorial Committee

Vanessa Alayrac-Fielding
Marion Amblard
Michèle Cohen
Brian Cowan
Sebastian Domsch
Mascha Hansen
John-Erik Hansson
Philippa Hellawell
Mark Knights
Véronique Léonard-Roques
Jakub Lipski
Sophie Mesplède
Eleonora Sasso
Susanne Schmid
Alexis Tadié
Sophie Vasset

Copy editors

Ariane Godbout

Candice Despretz
Mascha Hansen
Emrys Jones
Sophie Mesplède
Camille Payeur
Noémie Vandenborre


The Anthology

Managing Editor: Alain Kerhervé