George H. Moss Jr. Papers

RECORD GROUP: Special Collections
RECORD SERIES #: 6300.02
SERIES: George H. Moss Jr. Papers
DATES: 1964-2009
VOLUME: 1 cubic foot (2 boxes)

HISTORY
The George H. Moss Jr. Papers reflect both his lifelong interest in Monmouth County history and his service to the county. Moss was born on March 2, 1923, in New York, NY, and spent summers at his family home in Long Branch before settling there permanently in the early 1950s. After serving in the Office of Strategic Services, U.S. Army, in World War II, Moss became a partner and Senior Vice President in Hay Fales & Co., a member of the New York Stock Exchange, where he was employed for twenty-five years. Following his 1971 retirement, Moss devoted his time and energies to various interests including collecting, photography, and Monmouth County history.

Moss’ interest in the history and culture of Monmouth County and the Jersey Shore grew from his family’s ties to the local hotel business (his maternal grandfather, Gernand Pannaci, operated the Pannaci Hotel in Long Branch) and from perusing family scrapbooks and other materials in his grandmother’s library. Moss authored more than fifty books and articles, not just on local history, but on photography, antique automobiles, and audio recording, and was a contributing writer for the Asbury Park Press and Red Bank Register. He also served the Borough of Rumson as Council President, Town Historian, and in other capacities for a total of 37 years, and was Monmouth County Historian for nine years. The Rumson town hall includes the George H. Moss Jr. Local History Room, named in his honor. In the course of his research, Moss amassed a significant collection of books, illustrations and ephemera of the Victorian era, as well as more than 5,000 glass plate negatives generated by the Pach photography studios in Lakewood and Long Branch, operated by George A.M. Morris after the death of Gustavus Pach in 1904. These collections served as an important resource not just for his own articles and books, but for other historians and scholars. Moss died at his Rumson home on February 25, 2009.

SCOPE AND CONTENT
The bulk of materials in this collection were originally acquired by the Long Branch Free Public Library, when local history consultant Elsalyn Palmisano amassed much of the existing published material by and about Moss. The materials in the Monmouth County Archives primarily derive from Palmisano’s copies. The remainder was collected by the Monmouth County Archives. Major themes include: various aspects of Monmouth County history with a particular focus upon the Victorian era, and include: photography; hotels and resorts; history of boats and boating; and customs and manners. The collection is arranged in eleven series:

I. Articles about Moss
II. Articles by Moss
III. Bibliography
IV. Book excerpts
V. Collection guide
VI. Correspondence
VII. Promotional materials
VIII. Research materials
IX. Photographs
X. Video
XI. Portfolios

I. Articles about Moss, his work as author and historian, and awards received. Also included is a selection of reviews of some of Moss’ published work.

II. A selection of local history columns published by Moss. Also included is a list that Moss generated detailing materials he donated to Georgian Court University Cunningham Library.

III. Bibliographical listings generated by the Long Branch Public Library, which include a list of published works by and about George Moss, a list of works in which resources from the George Moss archives have appeared, and a list of Moss’ collection of Monmouth County shore area ephemera.

IV. Excerpts and cover art from books published by Moss and from a book dedicated to Moss.

V. Draft copy of the collection guide by the Long Branch Free Public Library for use in conjunction with its Moss Collection.

VI. Correspondence related to promotional events for some of Moss’ published work and to his donations to local history organizations in Monmouth County.

VII. Materials used in conjunction with a few of Moss’ book promotion events.

VIII. Some materials that Moss collected in his research on the history of Long Branch.

IX. Photographs of Moss, primarily related to the 1997 ceremonies at which he received the first annual Jane G. Clayton Award.

X. DVD containing two films directed and produced by George Moss in about 1956 and converted to DVD in 2006. The films consist of Simba and its accompanying promotional trailer; both are humorous spoofs of the 1955 film of the same title. Moss also appears in the films.

XI. Published portfolios with reproductions of documents and engravings issued by Ploughshare Press, owned by Moss.

Types of materials include photocopied and/or typewritten documents, newspaper and magazine clippings, bibliographies, flyers, photographic and hand-drawn book illustrations, newsletters, photographs, a DVD, and portfolios with reproductions of documents and illustrations. Most items in the collection, including all newspaper clippings, are photocopies; some from original materials, others from other photocopies. Original newspaper clippings were photocopied for preservation purposes, as were a number of Hurricane Sandy water-damaged papers; these have been substituted for original materials. Many photocopies of original or photocopied material have been enlarged to increase legibility. A significant number of photocopied articles only exist in enlarged format. Most original photographs in the collection are slightly water damaged. The DVD has been exposed to water and its package insert is water damaged; however, it has been tested and plays without problems. Dates in the container list refer to original publication date of material.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS
This collection is open to researchers.

ARRANGEMENT
The Moss Papers has been arranged in eleven series: Articles about Moss, Articles by Moss, Bibliography, Book excerpts, Collection guide, Correspondence, Promotional Materials, Research Materials, Photographs, DVD, and Portfolios. The first, second, fourth, seventh and eighth series are arranged alphabetically by title. The third, fifth and tenth series are in original order. The sixth and ninth series are arranged by date. Photographs are stored separately and are arranged chronologically. DVD is stored separately. Oversize materials, including the portfolios, are stored in one flat box and are arranged in series order. Folder contents are arranged alphabetically by title.

USE
Use of the Moss Papers is unrestricted. See shelf list for folder headings. Video requires computer DVD drive or DVD player.

REPOSITORY
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Phone: 732-308-3771

ACQUISITION INFORMATION
The bulk of this collection was donated to the Monmouth County Archives by Elsalyn Palmisano on September 5, 2013. (Accession 2013-01).

PROCESSING INFORMATION
Finding aid created by Lisa Iannucci on April 23, 2014. Revised by Gary D. Saretzky, June 24, 2014.

RELATED MATERIAL

The Monmouth County Archives holds a small collection of books by or related to George Moss; see list below.

In 2000, Moss was interviewed as part of an oral history project conducted by the Monmouth County Library. The Archives holds an audio recording of the interview, and a transcript is available at http://www.visitmonmouth.com/oralhistory/bios/MossGeorge%20.htm.

The Long Branch Free Public Library’s Local History Room holds a significant collection of materials by and about George Moss; a copy of the guide is in Box 1, Folder 6.

List of Books:
Bayshore: Rediscovering Its Future. Presented by The Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey. Exhibition Dates: July 9, 1989 through February 11, 1990. [Essays by Randall Gabrielan, George H. Moss Jr., et al. Includes history of businesses, railroads, trolleys, steamboats, commerce/shipping, steamships, recreation, Bayshore potteries, rum runners during Prohibition, oyster industry, pound fisheries, pleasure boats, and fish processing, especially the J. Howard Smith Co.]

Becker, Marion P., Guest Curator, et al. Portrait of a Period: The Victorian Playground on the Jersey Shore, 1865-1910. Presented by The Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey. Exhibition Dates: June 30, 1981 Through November 8, 1981. [Illustrated exhibition catalog, based in part on the Moss Collection, with essays by Becker, George H. Moss Jr., June Burns Bové, Charles T. Lyle, and L. Marx Renzulli Jr.]

French, M. Claire (Introduction) and George H. Moss Jr. (Preface). Town by Town: Impressions of Monmouth County. Freehold, NJ: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 2002. [Includes a history of each of the 53 municipalities in Monmouth County, plus some postcard views.]

Monmouth County in the Centennial Era: A Pictorial Review. [Pictorial materials furnished by George H. Moss Jr.] Freehold, NJ: Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 1976.

Moss Jr., George H. Another Look: At Nauvoo to the Hook. Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1990. [Inscribed by Moss to Monmouth County Archives. Jersey Shore history.]

Moss Jr., George H. Double Exposure Two: Stereographic Views of the Jersey Shore (1859 to 1910) and Their Relationship to Pioneer Photography. Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1995. [Revised edition of Double Exposure…(1971). History of photography with information about local photographers. Signed by Moss and inscribed “This was the way it was!”]

Moss Jr., George H. The Early History of Sea Bright. Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1972.

Moss Jr., George H., ed. Manumission Book of Monmouth County New Jersey, 1791-1844. Freehold, NJ: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 1992. [Indexes of freed African American slaves.]

Moss Jr., George H. Monmouth…Our Indian Heritage. Third Edition. Freehold, NJ: Monmouth County Historical Association, January 1991. [The first edition was published in October 1974 and the second in November 1975. History of Native Americans in the county. In Small Books box.]

Moss Jr., George H. Steamboat to the Shore: A Pictorial History of the Steamboat Era in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1991. Third Printing, limited to 1,000 copies. [Inscribed, “To Gary (Saretzky) — Enjoy this rare Austrailian [sic] Edition” and signed. “Australian” refers to the upside-down binding.] [Also available is an ex-library copy of the 1st printing.]

Moss Jr., George H. “Those Victorian Years,” essay in Portrait of a Period: The Victorian Playground on the Jersey Shore, 1865-1910, presented by The Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey. Exhibition Dates: June 30, 1981 through November 8, 1981. [Monmouth Museum collection. Includes illustrations from the Moss Archives.]

Moss Jr., George H. Twice Told Tales: Reflections on Monmouth County’s Past. Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 2002. [Reprints Moss’ newspaper articles on local history topics.]

Moss Jr., George H. and Karen L. Schnitzspahn. Those Innocent Years, 1898-1914. Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1993. [Inscribed by Moss to Jane Clayton.] [Photographs of the people (including the Gould family) and places of the Jersey Shore by Gustavus Pach and his successor George A.M. Morris.]

Moss Jr., George H. and Karen L. Schnitzpahn. Victorian Summers at the Grand Hotels of Long Branch, New Jersey. [Foreword by John L. Cunningham.] Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 2000.

Moss Jr., George H., Mrs. Allen B. Kendall and Ellen Thorn Morris. Black Birth Book of Monmouth County New Jersey, 1804-1848. Freehold, NJ: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 1989. [Record of African American slaves born in Monmouth County as reported to the County Clerk.]

Through Two Lenses: Early Stereographic Views of New Jersey (1859-1889) from the Collection of George H. Moss Jr. Lincroft, NJ: Monmouth Museum, 1974. [Monmouth Museum collection]

CONTAINER LIST
Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Articles about Moss, A-K 1964-2009
1 2 Articles about Moss, L-Z 1966-2009
1 3 Articles by Moss 1978-1998
1 4 Bibliography 1993-1999
1 5 Book excerpts 1991-1997
1 6 Collection guide, Long Branch Free Public Library 2013
1 7 Correspondence 1996-2003
1 8 Promotional materials 1996-2003
1 9 Research materials 1865-2004
1 10 Photographs (stored in vault) 1997-2001
1 11 DVD videos, from ca. 1956 films (stored in vault) 2006

 

OVERSIZE BOX

Box Folder Title Date
2 12 Articles about Moss, A-K 1987-2006
2 13 Articles about Moss, M-Z 1972-2005
2 14 Articles by Moss 1996-1997
2 15 Portfolios (3) published by Moss[1] 1976, n.d.

 


[1] Pages from the Past: A Documentary Portfolio; Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1680-1814. Educator Packet No. 1. Ploughshare Press, 1976. The other two are photocopies only: Heritage of the River: A Bicentennial Portfolio. Issued for Borough of Fair Haven. Ploughshare Press, n.d.; and The Monmouth Museum Print Portfolio No. 1. Views of the Jersey Shore, 1869-1885. Introduction by George H. Moss Jr.; no publication information available.