Guide to the Chris Costner Sizemore Papers, 1952-1989 (bulk 1956-1979)
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).
- Collection Number
- Chris Costner Sizemore papers
- 1952-1989 (bulk 1956-1979)
- Sizemore, Chris Costner
- 8 Linear Feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Use & Permissions
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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Chris Costner Sizemore Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
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.
Includes typescripts of the publication I'm Eve, as well as poetry by Sizemore and others. See also Oversize Materials group.
Contents of this box restricted pending review.
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.
|1927 Apr 4||
Born in Edgefield, S.C. to Acie and Zueline Hastings Costner.
Traumas witnessed. First memory of additional personalities: the Red Head Girl,
Ugly Girl, and Black Patent Shoe Girl.
Twin sisters, Elyse and Louise, born.
Married George Rodgers.
Daughter Taffy born.
Divorced George Rodgers. Multiple personality disorder diagnosed by Dr. Corbett
Thigpen and Dr. Hervey Cleckley.
Married Don Sizemore.
McGraw-Hill released The Three Faces of Eve by Corbett Thigpen. Film version came out the same year.
Co-authored The Final Face of Eve
with James Poling.
Son, Bobby Sizemore, born.
Doubleday released I'm Eve, by
Sizemore and cousin Elen Sain Pittillo.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Diaries -- Women authors
- Mental illness -- Personal narratives
- Multiple personality -- United States -- Case studies
- Multiple personality in art
- Women -- Psychology -- Case studies
- Women -- Mental health -- Personal narratives
- Women -- Biography
- Women authors, American
The papers of Chris Costner Sizemore were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from 1982 through 1989.
Processed by Lisa Stark, 1999
Reprocessed and described by Valerie Szwaya, 2017