Policing Homosexuality: 18th Century Paris


This project, based on thousands of police records located in several Parisian repositories, involves the creation of a database that will allow students and scholars to analyze patterns and changes in same-sex relations from the 1720s to the 1780s and a website including explanatory essays, images, an extensive bibliography, and more. We want not only to explore, describe, and visualize the sodomitical subculture on its own terms but also to connect it with the larger society in many ways: immigration, age and class structures, employment and unemployment, gender, urban space, prostitution, public and private matters, social control and personal agency.


  • Designed relational data model and database using the platform Nodegoat.
  • Developed data dictionary and data entry system.
  • Digitalized and entered over 100 documents.

Future Goals

  • Continue with data entry.
  • Make data available to scholars and students.
  • Establish a website with explanatory essays, images, bibliography, and more.

Project Team

Tip Ragan
Professor of History

Jennifer Golightly
Academic Application Specialist, ITS

Jeffrey Merrick
Professor Emeritus of History, UW-Milwaukee

Benjamin Bernard
Doctoral Candidate, Princeton University

Eric Albrand
Agrege in History

Michael Sorensen
Class of ’17