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


Frances Glanville Boscawen

As a bluestocking hostess, Frances Boscawen (1719-1805) is often mentioned in connection with Elizabeth Montagu or Elizabeth Vesey, but so far, little scholarly attention has been paid to Boscawen’s sociable activities.

Petersfield in Hampshire (and French prisoners of war in the 1790s)

The parole town of Petersfield in Hampshire was one of many towns in Britain that held French prisoners of war during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815). With a large population of over 170 prisoners, Petersfield became a small hub of international sociability that transcended wartime enmities.
Objects Concepts


LE PAPE Isabelle
Cette notice propose d’identifier les conditions ayant contribué au développement des collections de spécimens, d’objets et d’œuvres d’art en Grande-Bretagne au XVIIIe siècle.


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

Launch of the DIGIT.EN.S encyclopedia

December 8th 2022
Official launch of the DIGIT.EN.S encyclopedia, with keynote lecture by Prof. Tim Hitchcock Brest, Marina du Château, Thursday 8 December

DIGITENS closing conference: Sociabilities on the Move in the Long Eighteenth Century (1650-1850)

December 8th 2022
International conference organized by the GIS Sociabilités/Sociability and the research center HCTI in the framework of the H2020 DIGITENS project. Brest, 8 - 9 December 2022

Sociability and Politics Reading Session

November 10th 2022
‘Sociability and Politics’: A Reading Seminar organized in the framework of the GIS activities (strand 1) by the University of Warwick and the University of Western Brittany