Introduction to the Database

The database at the heart of the Comédie-Française Registers Project derives from the daily box office attendance records kept assiduously by the troupe from its founding in 1680 to the Revolution, and beyond. High resolution virtual reproductions of these records can be found here. The troupe maintained detailed receipt records because the Crown insisted that the actors donate a portion of each evening’s proceeds to charities, to mollify the French Catholic critics of the stage’s “sinfulness.” In addition, the members of the troupe split the remaining revenue among themselves according to seniority within the troupe. A detailed accounting was necessary to maintain harmony among the players themselves.

We offer several ways to access the data.

Data exploration and visualization tools

  1. Discovery Tool. This tool allows users introductory access to the database. Here you can explore data about authors, plays, genres and seasons in an easy-to-use interface. Created by Logilab.
  2. Faceted Browser. This tool allows users intermediate access to the database. On the right-hand side of the screen, click on author names, play titles, genres, seasons or days of the week to explore data in all 113 seasons in the database, or by season or day of the week. On the left-hand side of the screen, explore data for individual performances you have identified via the facets on the right. By clicking on the camera icons on the left of the screen, you can also view images of the original register pages. Created by Christopher York.
  3. Cross-Tab Browser. This tool allows users more advanced access to the data. Here you can study performance frequency and box office data for authors and plays across time periods you define, then plot the results obtained using simple bar graphs and line charts against results for other writers and plays. By clicking on the "outil calendrier" box in the upper left corner, you may also examine data for authors and plays as plotted onto a calendrical representation of the troupe's seasons between 1680 and 1793.
  4. Feux Graph. This exploratory tool, specific to the casting registers, focuses on the relationshionships between the actors, as well as their links to particular authors, roles, and plays. It covers only the period for which there are casting registers: 1765 to 1793.

Additional visualization tools

Additional Tools and Visualizations created at the Paris 2015 and Cambridge, MA 2016 CFRP conferences by associated developers and scholars.

Export our data

Dataclips. We are offering access to some “dataclips”, which are essentially useful slices of data, as a way to allow you to download cross sections of the compiled CFRP data in several formats: CSV, JSON, Excel, and as a Google Drive spreadsheet. We hope this will make it possible for you to work with the CFRP data using tools of your choosing. Contact us if you would like us to set up other dataclips.

Integrate our data

HTTP API. This tool is for programmers. It offers full access to a complete live copy of the compiled data in JSON format, and a live query interface, with filtering, pagination and ordering functionality. At the most basic, if you send an HTTP OPTIONS request to, you will get back a JSON response which documents all available endpoints; an OPTIONS request to any of those endpoints returns its structure. Visit the API page for more details.