The Comédie-Française Registers Project

The Comédie-Française Registers Project

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. These daily receipt registers, as well as the data they contain, are now available online via the Comédie-Française Registers Project.


In February of 2020, students from Paris Nanterre, Paris 3 and Paris 8 (ArTeC) participated in a research workshop led by C. Biet and S. Harvey, in collaboration with L. Gendre, J. Herbulot C. Herdouin and A. Sollazzo. An emancipatory experience.

Check it out !!! The UVic based research team is pleased to announce that the casting registers database is now complete, and that a new visualisation tool has been created to help you explore this new dataset which complements, enriches, and shines a new light on the existing receipts data.

PHASE II: We are thrilled to announce that phase two of the Comédie-Française Registers Project has begun! The work currently being undertaken is made possible by two new grants, one from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (Archives, technologie et savoirs autour de la Comédie-Française, partnership development 2018-2021, principal investigator: Sara Harvey, University of Victoria) and the other from France’s Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) (Registres de la Comédie-Française, 2019-2022, principal investigator : Christian Biet, Paris Nanterre). This second stage of the project will be dedicated to the creation of two new databases: expenses (1680-1760, ANR) and casting (1765-1793, SSHRC), both of which build on the data collected from the receipt registers (1680-1793). In addition, this new funding will also support the creation of an annotated collection theatre critiques pulled from literary media publications (1710-1760), broadening the scope of the project beyond the records kept by the theatres themselves.