Scope and arrangement
The William Williams Papers contain correspondence, reports, notices, photographs, scrapbooks, and other items from Williams' terms as Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island and correspondence, reports, minutes, and additional items from his tenure as Commissioner of the Department of Water Supply, Gas, and Electricity. Williams' Ellis Island papers include correspondence with presidents, mayors, and other officials, clippings and notes on Williams' administration, correspondence and reports on incidents during his administration. His scrapbooks contain 44 interior and exterior views of the immigration station by Edwin Levick and others. In addition, his papers contain a set of 39 portraits of immigrants in native dress taken by photographer Augustus F. Sherman.
Williams' papers as Commissioner of the Department of Water Supply, Gas, and Electricity contain correspondence, memoranda, and reports on his work to reduce the cost of providing New York City with water, gas, and electricity, protecting the city's water sources from pollution, and providing alternate sources of water for the city.
The Bering Sea Arbitration series contains thank you letters to Williams for writing an article for the American Journal of International Law on his role as associate counsel to the United States government in the Bering Sea Arbitration with Great Britain in 1892.
The William Williams papers are arranged in three series:
- 1902-1914, 1939, n.d.10 boxes 1 oversize folder
This series contains material from Williams' terms on Ellis Island, including correspondence, reports, notices, a guest book, scrapbooks, watercolor sketches, and photographs.
- 1914-1917, n.d.1 box
This series contains correspondence, reports, speeches, and other material from Williams' time as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Water Supply, Gas, and Electricity.
- 19431 folder
This series contains letters sent to Williams to thank him for his essay, "Reminiscences of the Bering Sea Arbitration", which was published in the American Journal of International Law. Williams was associate counsel to the United States government in the Bering Sea Arbitration with Great Britain in 1892.