Sam Moskowitz Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

TxAM-CRS C000190

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Sam Moskowitz Collection


  • 1940-1993 (Creation)


48 boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sam Moskowitz was born June 30, 1920, in Newark, N. J. He served in the U. S. Army during World War II. He worked in the wholesale food industry for most of his life, but maintained a literary career also. He was a literary agent and science fiction magazine editor, and was very active in the science fiction fan communities. Among others, he was a member of the Science Fiction League, Fantasy Amateur Press Association, First Fandom, Science Fiction Writers of America, Eastern Science Fiction Association and others. His activity was rewarded by a special plaque from the 13th World Science Fiction Convention in 1955 for his history of fan life, The Immortal Storm, the Big Heart Award for contributions to Science Fiction, and was named to the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame in 1979.

Moskowitz was one of the founders of the World Science Fiction Convention, now in its 64th year. He was one of the first, if not the first, to lecture on science fiction to a University class.

Moskowitz was widely recognized as the leading amateur historian of science fiction and fantasy during his lifetime. He wrote many articles in the science fiction magazines, about science fiction and individual authors. In many cases, those were collected into book form later. Moskowitz was also a prolific letter-writer, communicating with many fanzines with comments, corrections of information published in the fanzines, or short articles on the field.

His historical treatments of science fiction and fantasy include The Immortal Storm: A History of Science Fiction (1954); Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction (1963); Seekers of Tomorrow: Masters of Science Fiction (1966); and Science Fiction in Old San Francisco (1980), and may other titles. Moskowitz frequently published his history and criticism in The Fantasy Commentator, a highly regarded amateur magazine. His final completed book, a history of John W. Campbell, will appear in that magazine beginning in 2006.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Sam Moskowitz collection consists of his research files, correspondence, manuscripts, many of his books, and working documents related to his study of the history of science fiction and fantasy.  Drafts of two unpublished books are included.

System of arrangement

This collection is organized into 8 series. The papers are arranged as they were held in the Moskowitz collection, as detailed in the finding guide.

Series 1. Biographical and Photographic Files - Moskowitz, 1939-1980; Undated
Series 2. Manuscripts - Moskowitz, 1856-1994; Undated
Series 3. Correspondence - Moskowitz, 1944-1997; Undated
Series 4. Published Files - Moskowitz, 1947-1998; Undated
Series 5. Book Reviews - Moskowitz, Undated
Series 6. Magazines - Moskowitz, 1990-1996; Undated
Series 7. Miscellaneous Moskowitz Files, Undated
Series 8. Subject Files - Moskowitz

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Conditions governing access

Physical access

These materials are stored offsite and require additional time for retrieval.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Finding aids

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Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

The Moskowitz Collection came to Cushing Library from Sam Moskowitz' widow, Christine (Haycock) Moskowitz, who gave his research files to Hal W. Hall. The files were what remained of Moskowitz' papers after an auction, at which most of his books, magazines, fanzines, and art were sold off. The card file in which Moskowitz recorded payments made to contributors for Weird Tales was thrown away by his widow.


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Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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