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Harold D. Moser, 1938-2016

Moser, Harold D.

Harold D. Moser, longtime editor of both the Daniel Webster and Andrew Jackson Papers projects, passed away on April 4, 2016. A published obituary notes his contributions to the field of documentary editing and the Early Republic:

Harold’s more than thirty-year career was under the aegis of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s (NHPRC’s) mandate to publish the papers of national political figures. From 1971 until 1979 he was a documentary editor and then editor of the correspondence series at the Daniel Webster Papers Project at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., producing five volumes of Webster’s correspondence. From 1979 until his retirement in 2004 he was editor-director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson, first at the Hermitage in Nashville and then at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Under his direction, the project published volumes 2-7 of the Jackson Papers. He also published two book-length bibliographies, of Daniel Webster and of President John Tyler.

As Dan Feller noted in posting the news to the Scholarly Editing Forum (SEDIT-L), “Harold introduced new editorial policies at the Jackson project, including the inclusion of a calendar, which have been retained in later volumes. Harold also oversaw the project’s physical removal from the Hermitage in Nashville to the campus of its institutional sponsor, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where it remains today.” In another SEDIT-L post, Charlene Bickford shared her memories of Moser:

I was so sorry to read about Harold Moser’s passing. The news caused me to reflect upon the unfortunate reality that when documentary editors retire, we often lose touch with them. I have strong memories of informal conversations with Harold during professional meetings–discussing and planning advocacy efforts. I remain grateful that he was such a strong and creative supporter in our seemingly never ending battles in defense of documentary editing and on behalf of the federal programs that assist our work. He was instrumental in the Tennessee Presidents consortium (the Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson papers), which worked to educate members of that state’s delegation in Congress and convert them into supporters of the cause of saving the NHPRC’s grants program. We can all be grateful for his activism in support of documentary editing.