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Constance Hess Williams Papers

Identifier: BC20-42

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection contains primarily campaign materials related to Constance Hess Williams' campaigns as well as other Democratic races, along with documentation of Williams' political career in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Clippings, letters of endorsement and congratulations, debate preparation materials, and mailers document Wiliams' four successful races. Legislative research, correspondence, a constituent survey, photographs, recordings of press conferences and other media appearances, and newspaper clippings document Williams' career as a legislator. Williams' long involvement in local and national politics is documented in numerous pins and other Democratic Party memorabilia.


  • 1964 - 2016



This collection has no restrictions.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproduction Restrictions

Reproductions can be made for research purposes.


Constance Hess Williams, politician, was born June 27, 1944 in Long Branch, New Jersey. She received a BA in English from Barnard College in 1966 and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business in 1980. After becoming active in local politics and chairing Democractic committees in Pennsylvania, Williams successfully ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 149th District, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district. She served in the House from 1997-2001.

In 2001 Williams ran in a special election to fill a vacated Pennsylvania State Senate seat for the 17th District, covering parts of Montgomery and Delaware Counties. She was elected in 2001, re-elected in 2004, and in 2008 announced that she would not seek re-election. She served as a State Senator until January 2009. During her term she served as the Senate Democratic Caucus Administrator and on numerous committees, including Communications and Technology, Transportation, Finance, Policy, Aging and Youth, and Local Government. Williams wrote a law passed in 2007 that legalized breastfeeding in public throughout the state.

Williams also served as a Barnard Trustee from 1989 until 2000 and in 2005, she established the Constance Hess Williams ’66 Fund for Women in Politics at Barnard.


18.52 Linear Feet (6 record cartons, 1 regular size document box, 1 half document box, 6 custom boxes)




This collection documents Constance Hess Williams' career as a politician in the Pennsylvania State Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The collection contains correspondence related to campaigns and legislation, legislative research, photographs, news clippings, and campaign and convention ephemera/memorabilia for both Williams' races, other Pennsylvania races, and national Democratic Party races.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the order in which it was received.

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

Donated to the College by Constance Hess Williams, 2016-2017.


No additions are expected.

Processing History

This collection is partially processed; a preliminary finding aid was written by Martha Tenney in November 2020. Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Finding aid written in English

Processing Note

This collection has been minimally processed.

In Progress
Martha Tenney
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States