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Camille Doucet correspondence

Call Number: GEN MSS 1554
Content Description

Collection of circa 11,000 letters addressed to Camille Doucet (1812-1895), director of the Superintendance générale des théâtres de France and member of the Académie française, from upwards of 1150 correspondents. It offers rich documentation of the French arts and letters in the second half of the 19th century and, in particular, of Doucet’s influence over French theater in his capacity as head of the administration of theaters in the imperial government of Napoleon III between 1853 and 1870, and later through the Academie française. Many letters discuss new theater productions, recommendations for performers, the work of censors, and various favors. Other letters concern the business and membership of the Académie française, as well as artistic patronage, cultural life, and social events. Correspondents include members of the Académie française, members of the Bonaparte family, writers, actors, theater directors, composers, painters, aristocrats, politicians, military leaders, scientists, and patrons of the arts.

There is voluminous correspondence, bound in albums, from Princesse Mathilde Bonaparte, Comédie-Française director Jules Claretie, François Coppée, Alexandre Dumas père and fils, Ludovic Halévy, Arsène and Henry Houssaye, Ernest Legouvé, and Victorien Sardou. Other individuals represented in the collection include George Sand, Émile Zola, Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, and Henri d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale. Enclosed in a small number of letters are clippings and other printed material, manuscript poems, and manuscript music scores, including by Massenet.

Also included are a small number of outgoing letters by Camille Doucet, letters addressed to Doucet’s widow Emma Adelon, and letters to his daughter Antoinette Doucet and her husband, politician René Joseph Brice (1839-1921).

Language of Materials

In French.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Camille Doucet Correspondence is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

From the collection of Camille Doucet, kept by his descendants. Purchased from Christie's on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2018.


Organized into two series: I. Correspondence Albums, 1852-1906. II. Correspondence Files, 1832-1920.

1832 - 1920
Majority of material found within 1850 - 1895
20.93 Linear Feet ((51 boxes) + 1 broadside)
Related Names
Doucet, Camille, 1812-1895
Language of Materials