CE27 - Culture, créations, patrimoine

Comédie-Française Registers 2 – RCF2

Submission summary

The RCF project (CFR in English, cfregisters.org) is dedicated to affording prominence to the exceptional documents stored at the Comédie-Française archives: accounts of box office takings, expenditures and audience numbers; fees paid to staff. The first phase of the project (RCF1) consisted in digitizing all these documents, and developing an online database that enables the box office takings dating from 1680 to 1793 to be seen on screen. Now, the second phase (RCF2) will adapt this model to the accounts of expenditure from the same period, which will provide a wealth of information, particularly on staging (scenery, costumes, music and stage properties). The project will also link these two databases to each other and to other existing projects (interoperability plan). By networking these two databases with each other and with other existing projects (interoperability), and by organising events, publishing documents, staging educational programmes, and producing long-forgotten plays from the repertoire,RCF2 will develop further the cultural and encyclopedic knowledge that RCF1 put in place.
The main aim of the project is to foreground French theatrical heritage by means of the most innovative technologies, which will permit statistical processing, and will enable archival documents to physically to be seen on screen. The heritage will also be foregrounded via publications, events, and stagings of the theatrical repertory from the past. Technical Aims: 1. Undertake the entry of data of digitized documents using specialized software and procedures; 2. Create a software interface that will make accessible the entirety of the RCF’s data and metadata (box office takings, expenditures, fees to actors, theatre reviews, attendance registers); 3. Create innovative high-performance visualisation tools that will link the entirety of information contained in our databases; 4. Guarantee the longevity and the accessibility of the RCF’s resources (the digitized documents are already open-access; 5. Guarantee transparent sharing of information between the different international teams involved in the project (MIT, UVIC, RCF France). Research Aims: 1. Analyse the data contained in the Comédie-Française’s daily spending accounts for the period 1680-1776; 2. Create innovative ways with which to disseminate the project’s content knowledge and will promote the cultural history explored by the project (multimedia, wiki-style dictionary, interactive and collaborative online publications, mobile apps); 3. Prioritize interdisciplinarity in the Social Sciences by enabling a transdisciplinary dialogue between academic specialists (computer science, history, literature, economics, history of the arts, theatre studies) and professional and cultural industries (information technology specialists and archivists); 4. Enrich, enhance and modernize research methods in the Social Sciences via the implementation of a research tool that is at once ambitious and collaborative, and simple to use (a data archive that is dynamic, and accessible for researchers across the world); Pedagogical Aims : 1. Contribute towards the training of secondary school pupils and university students in the digital humanities; 2. Update research and training methods in the Social Sciences via international co-teaching initiatives (workshops that foreground student mobility and adaptability). Cultural Aims : 1. Enable dialogue between the areas of academic research and the culture industries, via conferences that will propose a broad reflection on questions of contemporary relevance such as the history of institutions, the relationship between the State and culture, the social role of culture, the functioning of theatre economy, audience reception, the status of actors and authors, and theatre aesthetics; 2. Conduct creative artistic experimentation in order to rediscover the repertoire, which has for the most part been forgotten and has not been played since the 18th century.

Project coordinator

Madame Tiphaine Karsenti (HAR - Histoire des arts et des représentations)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


UVIC / Études Françaises
Harvard University / Theatre, Dance, Media
MIT / Departement d'histoire
HAR HAR - Histoire des arts et des représentations
CELLF Centre d'étude de la langue et des littératures françaises

Help of the ANR 340,101 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2018 - 48 Months

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