Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
HARMAN, Jane L. (1945-)

HARMAN, JANE L., a Representative from California; born in New York, N.Y., June 28, 1945; graduated from University High School, Los Angeles, Calif., 1962; B.A., Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 1966, J.D., Harvard University School of Law, Cambridge, Mass., 1969; staff for United States Senator John V. Tunney of California, 1972-1973; adjunct professor, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 1974-1975; chief counsel and staff director, United States Senate Judiciary subcommittee on constitutional rights, 1975-1977; deputy secretary to the cabinet, The White House, 1977-1978; special counsel, Department of Defense, 1979; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Third and to the two succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1993-January 3, 1999); was not a candidate for reelection to One Hundred Sixth Congress in 1998, but was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination as governor of California; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Seventh and to the five succeeding Congresses until her resignation on February 28, 2011 (January 3, 2001-February 28, 2011).

Smith College
The Sophia Smith Collection
Northampton, MA
Papers: 1960-1998 (ongoing), 110 linear feet.
The Jane Harman Papers document the functions and activities of a Congressional office while incorporating facets of Harman's life before she became a member of Congress. There are very few materials regarding her personal life outside of her professional career. Types of materials include correspondence, reports and research materials, speeches, journal and newspaper articles, press releases, photographs, and video and audio tapes. The bulk of the papers date from 1993 to 1998 and focus on Harman's first three terms as a U.S. Representative from the 36th district of California. Major topics found in her political and legislative papers include national defense and the military (including women in the armed forces), the environment, space and technology, California-related issues, the Democratic National Party, health care, abortion and domestic and international economic concerns. Generally, there are more materials available from later in her political and legislative career than from the earlier years. Correspondence comprises at least half of the collection. Also well-represented are background and research materials that her staff used in legislative and political matters. Notable correspondents include: Les Aspin, Samuel Berger, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Sen. Robert Byrd, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, Gloria Feldt and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Vice President Al Gore, Judith L. Lichtman (Women's Legal Defense Fund), Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Ruth J. Simmons (Smith College president, 1995-2001), and Gloria Steinem. An inventory is available in the repository and online.

  • "Jane L. Harman" in Women in Congress, 1917-2006. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U. S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2006.