Brown Bag

Brown Bag Lecture: The Comédie-Française Registers Project: Visualizing Eighteenth-Century Theater Ticket Sales and Repertories

The Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory at the University of Victoria ( invites you to attend the Brown Bag Speaker Series. This is a series of informal lunchtime seminars for faculty and graduate students in the Department of Humanities and across the university to discuss issues in digital literacy, digital humanities, and the changing face of research, scholarship, and teaching in our increasingly digital world. For an hour once per month, we meet to hear from an invited speaker, share ideas, and build knowledge.


On Monday, February 5, from 3:00 – 4:00p.m., Jeffrey S. Ravel (History Faculty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Sara Harvey (Department of French, University of Victoria) will be presenting a talk entitled,


The Comédie-Française Registers Project: Visualizing Eighteenth-Century Theater Ticket Sales and Repertories


Monday, February 53:00 – 4:00p.m

Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (3rd floor, A314)

Mearns Centre for Learning, UVic Libraries 


Abstract: From 1680 until 1791, only one theater troupe in Paris was allowed to perform the plays of Molière, Corneille, Racine, Voltaire, Beaumarchais, and every other French-language playwright. This troupe, the Comédie-Française, played the works of these authors over 34,000 times in this period. Remarkably, the troupe kept detailed records of their box office receipts for every single one of those performances.  The Comédie-Française Registers Project makes these eighteenth-century box office receipts available online in a fully searchable database.  In this talk, we will provide an introduction to the project, a critical overview of the editorial and technical issues encountered in creating the database, and a preview of our approach to the next phases of the project

Biographies: Jeffrey S. Ravel is Professor and Head of the History Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He has published books and articles on the politics and culture of Enlightenment and Revolutionary France.  He is a Co-Director of the Comédie-Française Registers Project, and he is currently collaborating with the MIT Museum to make digitized versions of its holdings in world maritime history available online.

Sara Harvey is Assistant Professor of French at UVIC.  She uses technological tools in a digital environment to reinterpret, from a critical perspective, the world of the playhouse and the evolution of cultural media (literary press, plays, brief performatives forms) during the seventeen and eighteen centuries. As a postdoctoral fellow (2013-2016) working on the Comédie-Française Registers Project she experienced first-hand the transformation of knowledge via digital humanities practices and contexts.


Bring your lunch and join us to discuss digital technologies and research in our community!