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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Mus 264

Pauline Viardot-García additional papers


Letters, musical scores, libretti, musical notebooks, journals, drawings, and sketches by French mezzo-soprano, composer, and teacher, Pauline Viardot-García.


  • Creation: 1838-1912

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, German, English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


19 linear feet (19 boxes)

The collection contains correspondence of Pauline Viardot with her family, students, friends and admirers, as well as famous singers, composers, artists, journalists, poets, writers, and theater directors.

The literary compositions include libretti of Viardot's operettas by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev, by herself, and other authors, and poems.

The musical compositions include autograph manuscript music scores by Pauline Viardot, her musical working notebooks, scores by other composers, as well as printed first editions of many of Viardot's songs.

The collections contains the portrait game drawings by Ivan Turgenev, albums of Viardot's drawings, portraits, sketches of costumes and characters, a few landscapes by her sister Maria Malibran, and also drawings of Ivan Turgenev on his deathbed by her daughter, Claudie Viardot.

The collection also contains Viardot's journals and notes.

Biographical / Historical

Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1821-1910) was one of the most celebrated French mezzo sopranos of the 19th century and a cosmopolitan woman artist. She was a singer, composer, and teacher; and muse of the Russian novelist and dramatist Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) whose papers she guarded after his death. She was also the center of a large circle of friends, entertaining and collaborating with the intellectual and artistic elite of Paris and of Europe.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence: A. Letters to Pauline Viardot-García
  2. I. Correspondence: B. Letter from Pauline Viardot-García
  3. I. Correspondence: C. Other letters
  4. II. Compositions, literary
  5. III. Compositions, musical: A. By Pauline Viardot-García
  6. III. Compositions, musical: B. Musical notebooks of Pauline Viardot-García
  7. III. Compositions, musical: C. By other composers
  8. III. Compositions, musical: D. Printed music
  9. IV. Drawings
  10. V. Journals and notes
  11. VI. Additional correspondence

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2005M-33. Purchased from J & J Lubrano (from Sotheby's London music sale of 2005 December 1, lots 200 and 201) with funds from the Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Music, the Andrew Peter Vance Book Fund for Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Amy Lowell Trust; received: 2006 January 19.

2006M-46. Purchased from J & J Lubrano with the Amy Lowell Trust; received: 2007 January 4.

2007M-24. Purchased from J & J Lubrano with the Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Music; received: 2007 November 14.

2009M-106. Purchased from Schubertiade Music LLC (ALDE auction, 8 March) with funds from Amy Lowell Trust, Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Music; received 2010 May 5.

2011M-3. Bonynge-Sutherland Collection. Purchased from Richard Bonynge with funds from the Ruth N. and John M. Ward Fund, the Amy Lowell Trust, the Frank E. Chase Bequest, the John M. Kasdan Fund, and the Bayard Livingston and Kate Gray Kilgour Fund; received: 2011 July 4.

2011M-31. Gift of Loeb Music Library; received: 2011 August 29.

2011M-33. Purchased with funds from the Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Music, 2011 August 9.

2014M-5-2014M-13. Purchased from Ader auction (Lettres, Autographes et Manuscrits) with the Bayard Livingston and Kate Gray Kilgour Fund and Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Music; received: 2014 May 20.

2015M-161, 2015M-162. Purchased with funds from the Kate, Maurice R. and Melvin R. Seiden Fund for Music, 2016 June 20.

Processing Information

Processed by: Irina Klyagin and Bonnie B. Salt

Viardot-García, Pauline, 1821-1910. Pauline Viardot-García additional papers, 1838-1912: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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