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Guide to the Chris Costner Sizemore Papers, 1952-1989 (bulk 1956-1979)

Collection Overview

The Chris Costner Sizemore Papers span the time period 1952-1989, with the bulk of the papers dating between 1956 and 1979. The collection consists largely of correspondence; diaries and writings by Sizemore; publicity centered on film and book promotions or speaking engagements; materials related to her appearances; interviews and documentary materials (including film, video- and audiocassettes); and assorted materials including photographs, legal and financial papers. Most items relate to Sizemore's struggle with multiple personality disorder (dissociative identity disorder), both personally through letters, writings, and diaries, and publicly through interviews, documentary media, and news clippings. The papers provide an in-depth look into the life of a woman with a rare disorder who later came to clearly articulate her life to the public and become a mental health advocate. A biography was written by her doctors in 1957, Corbett Thigpen and Hervey Cleckley, called The Three Faces of Eve. It was turned into a film the next year. Under the pseudonym, Evelyn Lancaster, Sizemore co-authored The Final Face of Eve with James Poling in 1958. In 1977 she wrote, under her given name, the autobiography I'm Eve. The Correspondence Series is arranged chronologically, and consists primarily of incoming letters. Dr. Corbett Thigpen, the doctor to deliver the original diagnosis of multiple personality disorder, is prominent in much of the collection. This series documents his relationship to Sizemore during treatment and continuing well into the 1970s. He corresponded with Sizemore about his writings, revealing much about the publication of The Three Faces of Eve (book), and its subsequent movie release. The series also contains correspondence with other doctors, family members, Sizemore's editors and publishers, and organizations for which she lectured. The Writings Series is comprised primarily of the holograph manuscript, typescript, final galley proofs, and paperback edition of I'm Eve, the memoir written by Sizemore with the help of Elen Pittillo. This comprehensive view of the book's publication is represented from handwritten copy to final edition. The Writings Series also includes some short descriptions of Sizemore's life and examples of her poetry, as well as a few writings by others. There are six diaries in the Diaries Series, kept during parts of the 1950s and 1970s. Within these volumes, Sizemore discloses inner thoughts, which reveal very personal information about enduring mental illness and its effects on her family. The Publicity Series includes news clippings and journal articles about Sizemore and multiple personality disorder, as well as media related to her published works. The Events Series contains materials and ephemera related to Sizemore's public life of art shows, lectures, broadcasts, and appearances, often for mental health organizations. It also contains materials from her book tour for The Three Faces of Eve. The Photographs Series contains pictures from these events and of Sizemore's family life. The Additional Materials Series contains financial and legal papers, medical files, and identifying documents. There is also an Audio Visual Materials Series that contains interviews and documentary materials that again reflect the public's interest in Sizemore's life, as well as her own desire to document and share her experiences in writing, speaking, and art. Included is a documentary film by Dr. Thigpen, and video and audiocassettes of television interviews, other appearances, and of family members discussing a shared past (sound quality of some of the audiocassettes is very poor).

More Biographical / Historical Info

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.01198
Title
Chris Costner Sizemore papers
Date
1952-1989 (bulk 1956-1979)
Creator
Sizemore, Chris Costner
Extent
8 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
English

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

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Collection is open for research.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Chris Costner Sizemore Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence Series, 1949-1982 and undated

2 boxes

Includes letters from Dr. Corbett H. Thigpen, other doctors, friends, family members, editors, publishers, and some who had recently seen Sizemore on television or read her works. Letters are arranged chronologically with undated letters at the end. Most attachments remain clipped to the individual letters, and so this particular series also includes some photographs, royalty statements, and other miscellaneous materials. A few additional items are housed in the oversize materials.

Dec.1949 - July 1974
(23 folders)
Box 1
July 1974 - Nov. 1977
Box 2
Dec.1977 - Dec. 1979
Box 3
Jan.1980 - April 1982
Box 4
March 1982 - Dec. 1983 and undated
Box 5
Thigpen I, March 1956 - Dec. 1956
Box 5
Thigpen II, Jan. 1957 - Dec. 1957
Box 5
Thigpen III, April 1958 - March 1970
Box 5
Thigpen IV, Jan. 1972 - Feb. 1974
Box 5
Medical Correspondence
Box 12
Poling, Feb. 1957 - Nov. 1958
Box 5
Maclean's, July 1954 - Feb. 1957
Box 5
Regarding Three Faces of Eve
Box 12
Dec.1953 - Dec. 1957
Box 7
1973
(2 vols.)
Box 7
June 1974 - May 1975
Box 7

3. Writings Series

1 box

Includes typescripts of the publication I'm Eve, as well as poetry by Sizemore and others. See also Oversize Materials group.

I'm Eve - typescript
(6 folders)
Box 6
I'm Eve - paperback
Box 7
Volumes - German
Box 7
Miscellaneous writings by Sizemore and others
(2 folders)
Box 7
Notes written by "Jane," undated
Box 7
I'm Eve - handwritten manuscript
(12 folders)
Box 8
I'm Eve - final galley proofs
Box 9
Clippings, July 1953 - Oct. 1986 and undated
(3 folders)
Box 10
Clippings - movie related
Box 10
Printed materials
Box 10
Press list
Box 10
Articles about Sizemore and MP Disorder
Box 10
Book jackets
Box 11
Atlanta Journal and Constitution cover
Box 13
George Mason University event poster
Box 13
Oversize magazines
Box 13
Guestbook - George Mason University, March 25 - April 15, 1980
Box 10
Student responses to Sizemore lectures
Box 10
Penn. State film script
Box 10
Lectures and guest talks- Book tour
Box 11
Lectures and guest talks- Mental Health Association
Box 11
Lectures and guest talks- Miscellaneous
Box 11
Lectures and guest talks- Ephemera
Box 11
Gifts and awards
Box 11
Duke University, 1973
Box 11
Manuscripts department party, May 25, 1980
Box 11
Miscellaneous photographs
Box 11
Oversize photographs
Box 13

7. Additional Materials Series

2.5 boxes

Contents of this box restricted pending review.

Tax records, 1966
Box 12
Book contract, 1953
Box 12
Identifying documents
(2 folders)
Box 12
Medical information
Box 12
Financial papers
Box 12
Legal papers
Box 12
(A) South Carolina Medical Association Hearing regarding Sizemore's father
Box 15
(B) Patricia McCann Program, WOR-AM, 9 Jul. 1977,interview
Box 15
(F) Family interviews

It is likely that these were recorded by Sizemore and Pittilo in preparation for writing I'm Eve. Each tape is listed below with the first name found written on the master copy, although there may be more than one person interviewed on each tape. See Master Copy labels for more information.

(1) Tiny
Box 15
(2) Becky
Box 15
(3) Bobby
Box 15
(4) Anne
Box 15
(5) Aunt Mamie Lee
Box 15
(6) Taffy
Box 15
(7) Taffy
Box 15
(8) Taffy
Box 15
(9) Don
Box 15
(10) Don
Box 15
(11) Don
Box 15
(12) Chris
Box 15
(13) Maud Cogburn
Box 15
(14) Jane
Box 15
(15) Don
Box 15
(16) Chris
Box 15
(17) Chris
Box 15
(18) Chris
Box 15
(19) Chris
Box 15
(20) Chris
Box 15
(C) Unnamed speaking engagement
Box 15
(D) "The Three Faces of Eve," readings and commentary, Corbett H. Thigpen
Box 15
(E) "I'm Eve" radio spot
Box 15
Videotapes
Box 16
Lecture for the Mental Health Association of Utah
Box 16
Eve's Art, KHOU-TV, 7 Dec. 1978
Box 16
Morning Break/Chris Sizemore
Box 16
Sunday Break, "Eve," 12 Mar. 1982
Box 16
Good Morning America, 28 Sept. 1989
Box 16
Film
What's Your Opinion?(1 reel)
Box 16
Series on Sizemore (2 reels)
Box 16
Case Study of Multiple Personality (1 reel)
Box 14
 

Historical Note

Missing Title

Date Event(s)
1927 Apr 4 Born in Edgefield, S.C. to Acie and Zueline Hastings Costner.
1929 Traumas witnessed. First memory of additional personalities: the Red Head Girl, Ugly Girl, and Black Patent Shoe Girl.
1933 Twin sisters, Elyse and Louise, born.
1946 Married George Rodgers.
1948 Daughter Taffy born.
1952 Divorced George Rodgers. Multiple personality disorder diagnosed by Dr. Corbett Thigpen and Dr. Hervey Cleckley.
1953 Married Don Sizemore.
1957 McGraw-Hill released The Three Faces of Eve by Corbett Thigpen. Film version came out the same year.
1958 Co-authored The Final Face of Eve with James Poling.
1959 Son, Bobby Sizemore, born.
1974 Illness resolved.
1975 Began lecturing.
1977 Doubleday released I'm Eve, by Sizemore and cousin Elen Sain Pittillo.


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Provenance

The papers of Chris Costner Sizemore were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from 1982 through 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa Stark, 1999

Reprocessed and described by Valerie Szwaya, 2017