Skip to main content

Marie Scheikévitch papers and Sicard family papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 469

Scope and Contents

The Marie Scheikévitch Papers consist of correspondence, diaries, writings, and a small amount of photographs, drawings, and other documents. The collection documents Scheikévitch's personal life and social activity, particularly for the period 1901-1914, and her efforts to preserve memories of her social circle in writings and radio broadcasts. The Sicard Family Papers consist of correspondence of François and Pierre Sicard, with a small amount of drawings by François, other documents, and ephemera. Papers of François Sicard concern his work as an artist and his social activity. Papers of Pierre Sicard include correspondence with a similar social circle extending to a later period. Both the Scheikévitch and Sicard papers were acquired through the Sicard family.

The collection is housed in ten boxes and is organized into five series: Marie Scheikévitch Correspondence, Marie Scheikévitch Diaries, Marie Scheikévitch Writings, Other Marie Scheikévitch Papers, and Sicard Family Papers. A portfolio houses oversize materials.

Series I, Marie Scheikévitch Correspondence , consists of letters received from her friends and family, with concentrations of letters from intimate friends including Daniel Berthelot, René Boylesve, Adrien Hébrard, and Claude-Joseph Gignoux. No letters from Proust are present; these apparently were sold by Scheikévitch after Proust's death. Family correspondence includes letters from her father, her brother Victor, François and Lili Sicard, and Pierre Carolus-Duran. Also present are a small number of drafts of letters written by Marie Scheikévitch to unidentified correspondents.

Series II, Marie Scheikévitch Diaries , includes diary volumes, some containing drawings and fragments of other writings, and diary entries written on unbound sheets. In some cases, volumes and groups of sheets have overlapping date spans. Early diary entries discuss her engagement and marriage to Pierre Carolus-Duran, describing an abusive relationship and her subsequent depression and decision to obtain a divorce. The diaries also discuss her friendships and her involvement in the social life of the period through 1914, when entries end abruptly. A few appended entries dated 1938, 1944, and 1948 include discussion of her radio talks and the Second World War.

Series III, Marie Scheikévitch Writings , includes three subseries: Memoirs, consisting of drafts later published as sections of her Souvenirs d'un temps diparu, arranged by corresponding chapter in the published work; Radio Broadcasts, including outlines for a proposed series of radio talks and scripts of radio talks arranged by title; and Other Writings, including drafts and notes for an untitled novel, book reviews, school notebooks, and unidentified fragments.

Series IV, Other Marie Scheikévitch Papers , includes a few table seating diagrams, lists of appointments, and other notes concerning social engagements; photograph identity cards and a small number of other photographs, and notebooks of sketches and other drawings by Scheikévitch. Additional drawings are found in Scheikévitch's diaries, student notebooks, and writing fragments. Among papers concerning social engagements is a printed menu for a luncheon at the Ministère des affaires étrangères, with signatures of a number of guests, including Léon Bérard, Tristan Bernard, Philippe Berthelot, Helène Berthelot, Prince Sixte de Bourbon, André de Fels, Princess Lucien Murat, and Anna de Noailles.

Series V, Sicard Family Papers , includes two subseries: François Sicard Papers and Pierre Sicard Papers, each consisting of Correspondence and Other Papers. Drawings, sketches, and watercolors present in François Sicard's papers include sketches of writers and artists, some captioned and dated, and sketches of singers made on printed programs for performances of works by Henry de Forge and Paul Arosa, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Concours de Rome. Correspondence of Pierre Sicard includes letters from his parents, a single letter from Marie Scheikévitch written late in her life, letters of introduction obtained by Sicard for his travels in Europe and Asia, and letters from George Clemenceau and other members of the Clemenceau family. Also present are a few fragments of travel diaries written by Pierre Sicard and "Pendant le bal," a short play written by Georges Clemenceau, holograph, for performance by children at a family gathering. Also included in this series are a few 19th century legal documents, possibly relating to the Sicard family.


  • 1814-1979


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Marie Scheikévitch Papers and Sicard Family Papers are 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

Purchased from Jean-Jacques Faure on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 1998-1999.

Associated Materials

Letters to Marie Scheikévitch from Charles Marie Widor, originally part of the collection, were acquired separately by the Yale University Music Library.


3.99 Linear Feet ((10 boxes) + 1 portfolio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, diaries, and writings of Marie Scheikévitch, correspondence of François and Pierre Sicard, and a small number of photographs, drawings by Scheikévitch and François Sicard, and other documents and ephemera. Scheikévitch's correspondence and diaries concern her personal life and artistic and literary friendships. Although letters from Proust are not present, correspondents include artists and writers of his circle, with concentrations of letters from intimate friends of Scheikévitch, including Daniel Berthelot, René Boylesve, Adrien Hébrard, and Claude-Joseph Gignoux. Also present is a small amount of family correspondence, including letters from her father, S. Scheikévitch, her brother Victor, François and Lili Sicard, and Pierre Carolus-Duran. Scheikévitch's writings include draft sections of her autobiography, scripts for radio broadcasts, and drafts of a novel. Correspondence of François and Pierre Sicard includes letters from artists and other notable people, including a few letters from George Clemenceau and other members of the Clemenceau family. Also present are a small amount of Sicard family correspondence, drawings of François Sicard, and a holograph play written by Georges Clemenceau for performance by children at a family gathering.

MARIE SCHEIKÉVITCH (1882-ca. 1966)

Marie Scheikévitch was born in Russia at Petrovskoye Rasumovskoye, near Moscow, on July 20, 1882. Her father, a prosperous lawyer and art collector, settled the family in Paris in 1896. Scheikévitch was educated in Paris and in 1901 married Pierre Carolus-Duran, a musician and son of the painter Carolus-Duran. Through her father-in-law, she was introduced to the artistic and literary circles of the day. Scheikévitch gave birth to a son, André Carolus-Duran, in 1902, but the unhappiness of her marriage and severe depression led to a suicide attempt in 1905 and a divorce.

After her marriage ended, Scheikévitch continued to expand her involvement in Parisian society. During this period, she became acquainted with Marcel Proust, with whom she established a close friendship in 1912. When Du côté de chez Swann appeared in 1913, she was able to arrange through her friend Adrien Hébrard, director of the daily Le Temps, an exclusive interview with Proust, whose subsequent letters to her contain some of the most revealing comments he made on his own work. After the death of Proust, she published those letters in Lettres à Madame Scheikévitch (Paris: Librairie des Champs-Élysées, 1928), with a short memoir of Proust.

In 1914, Scheikévitch was struck with the deaths of both her younger brother Victor, who was killed in action in the World War, and Adrien Hébrard, who had been her lover. As a result of the Russian Revolution, she experienced a loss of income, and during this period of financial crisis she was briefly married to Jacques Vial, whom she divorced by 1921. In 1935 Scheikévitch published an autobiography, Souvenirs d'un temps disparu (Paris: Plon). An English translation, Time Past (Boston: Houghton Mifflin), appeared the same year. This work included an expanded memoir of Proust, as well as memoirs of her friendships with Anatole France, Jules Lemaître, Charles Marie Widor, Boni de Castellane, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Joseph Reinach, Arthur James Balfour, Anna de Noailles, Jean Cocteau, and other writers and artists.

Scheikévitch drew portraits of many of her well-known friends and worked as a portraitist for the League of Nations. In addition to her autobiography, her writings included a diary and unpublished works of fiction. In 1938 she spoke on Radio Paris about her memories of Proust, and she delivered radio talks during the 1950s-60s concerning her friendships with notable people. Scheikévitch continued to live in Paris through her later years.


The sculptor François Sicard (1862-1934) married Lili Scheikévitch, a sister of Marie, after producing a bust of Lili, commissioned by her father, in 1898. Sicard maintained friendships with a wide circle of artists and writers, including Georges Clemenceau, for whom he created a monument. The painter Pierre Sicard, a son of François and Lili, was born in 1900. He was appointed Peintre Officiel de la Guerre in 1944, and he lived and taught in California during the 1950s-60s.

Guide to the Marie Scheikévitch Papers and Sicard Family Papers
Under Revision
by Karen M. Spicher
June 2000
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.