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Ames W. Williams Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS401

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Ames W. Williams Papers comprise the personal papers of Ames W. Williams, best known as a bibliographer of Stephen Crane. The collection includes a wealth of substantial correspondence among Stephen Crane researchers, including John Berryman, Edwin Emerson, Lillian B. Gilkes, Melvin Schoberlin, R.W. Stallman, Vincent Starrett, and Louis Zara. A handful of articles written by Williams are also retained. Moreover, Ames' interest in railroad history is apparent as his papers contain printed materials, such as an incomplete yet fascinating run of the periodical the "Bulletin" of the Railroad Station Historical Society. In addition, the Williams Papers touch on the history of steamboats, providing printed items, such as the "Steamboat Bill," the journal of the Steamship Historical Society of America. In terms of local history, the Williams collection features photographs and a scrapbook depicting various Maryland and Virginia water landings. The Ames W. Williams Papers are preserved in 8 archival boxes and amount to 8.0 linear feet.


  • 1880 - 1980

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Born in 1912 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Ames W. Williams was a Stephen Crane scholar, trial attorney, and administrative law judge. Williams first enrolled in Duke University. Later, he earned his bachelor's and law degrees from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Williams joined the Navy and saw duty in the Atlantic theater in the second world war. After the war, he served in the naval reserves, holding the post of lieutenant commander in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He retired from the reserves in 1972. In 1939, Ames W. Williams became a trial lawyer for a power commission. During the 1950s, he served as secretary of the International Joint Commission of the United States and Canada. As a scholar, Williams is best remembered for his bibliography of Stephen Crane which he complied with Vincent Starrett: "Stephen Crane: A Bibliography" (New York: Burt Franklin, 1948). Williams corresponded widely with other Crane experts. A longtime resident of Alexandria, Virginia, Williams was also a noted authority on railroads, steamboats, and 19th century military fortifications. His other books include "The Chesapeake Beach Railway: Otto Mears Goes East" (Alexandria, VA: Meridian Sun Press, 1975) and "The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad" (Alexandria, VA: Meridian Sun Press, 1977). Ames W. Williams died on November 8, 1991 in McLean, Virginia. His survivors included his wife Mary H. Williams of Alexandria, Virginia, a son Stephen J, Williams, also of Alexandria, Virginia, and a brother Aaron Williams of Union, New Jersey. [Source: "Washington Post," 11/11/1991].


8 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Gift of Ames W. Williams.

Ames W. Williams Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
2009 March
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057