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


Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

TADIÉ Alexis
While Laurence Sterne was not one of the most prolific novelists of the eighteenth century, he was certainly the one who understood best the mechanisms of celebrity, and who used his appetite for sociability to further his reputation.

La Société Olympique (et son concert)

PAYEUR Camille
Cette notice sur la Société Olympique, dont le concert fut en activité à Paris de 1786 à 1789, a pour objectif de présenter la particularité de cette institution musicale parisienne entièrement financée par une organisation maçonnique.
Places Practices

Hôtel d'Angleterre at Calais (The)

SCHMID Susanne
The Hôtel d'Angleterre at Calais with its proprietor Monsieur Dessein, which appears at the beginning of Laurence Sterne's Sentimental Journey (1768), is by no means a fictitious space but was a well-known institution, popular among English travellers to the continent, who praised the quality of accommodation, architecture, and service.


Database of primary sources. New front page soon...


Latest News

One-Day Conference: Les voyageurs européens et les lointains, perception(s), confrontation(s), représentation(s). 1600-1840

June 14th 2024
One-Day Conference Les voyageurs européens et les lointains, perception(s), confrontation(s), représentation(s). 1600-1840 14 June 2024 BnF, Site Richelieu, salle des conférences

CFP: Consentir, Refuser, Céder : Spectres de la Conquête à la Restauration (1660-1714)

June 14th 2024
Colloque co-organisé IRCL (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) - LARCA (Université Paris Cité) Sous l'égide de la Société d'Études Anglo-Américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (SEAA 17-18) Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, salle des colloques 2, Site Saint Charles 1, Montpellier, 14 juin 2024

GIS Cycle of talks - "Les objets de luxe au XVIIIe siècle : diffusion d’une culture de consommation"

May 23rd 2024
Cycle of talks - Luxe et sociabilité : l’univers des petits objets au siècle des Lumières - May 23, 2024 (6:00 - 7:15) In parallel with the exhibition Luxe de poche - Petits objets précieux au siècle des Lumières (March 28-September 2024)