John Moore Crossey
John Moore Davison Crossey, American Librarian. Member United Kingdom Library. Association (associate), Royal Commonwealth Society (London), African Studies Association, Africa Center (London).
Crossey, John Moore Davison was born on April 5, 1932 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Came to the United States, 1959. Son of Samuel Davison and Mary Eva (Smyth) Crossey.
Bachelor, University London, 1956.
Assistant, Belfast Public Library., 1950-1956; sub-library, Linen Hall Library., Belfast, 1956-1959; cataloger, Northwestern University Library., Evanston, Illinois, 1959-1961; bibliographer, Northwestern University Library., Evanston, Illinois, 1961-1963; library African collection, Yale University Library., New Haven, 1963-1969; curator African collection, Yale University Library., New Haven, since 1969. Committee member, bibliographer Cooperative Africana Microform Project, Chicago, since 1969. Consultant book publications, vendors, since 1970.
Member United Kingdom Library. Association (associate), Royal Commonwealth Society (London), African Studies Association, Africa Center (London).
[Fellow librarians at Yale wrote this brief tribute to Moore:]
Subject: Passing of J. Moore Crossey, former Yale librarian for African Studies
With great [we] write to our colleagues to announce the passing of J. Moore Crossey on Tuesday, 24 May, in New Haven.
Many of you will remember that Moore served as librarian for the Yale African Collection from 1963-1998; during this time he authored the Guide to Library Resources for the Study of Southern Africa (New Haven: Yale U. Library, 1977) and the “Directory of Current Research on Southern Africa” (in Issue: A Journal of Opinion, vol. 9, no. 1-2 (1979), pp. 66-72; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1166945). While at Yale he was also an active committee participant in CRL’s Cooperative Africana Microform Project (CAMP). In this brief memoir (from the Autodidact website), Moore commented on his time in Ibadan as an exchange librarian in 1966, during which he acquired a collection of Onitsha Market literature that now enriches Yale’s Africana holdings.
Moore was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1932, and as a youth worked in the Belfast Public Library. Shortly after obtaining his B.A. from the University of London in 1956, he came to the United States, where he worked first as cataloger & then as bibliographer in the African Department of Northwestern University Library in Evanston, Illinois, from 1959-1963.
As an Africana studies librarian, Moore’s contributions to building library collections in this area, and to supporting the profession overall, were many, and well-remembered in the years after his retirement from Yale. [He is remembered by fellow librarians particularly for] his cheerful and generous assistance via e-mail and [for his] congenial conversations and dinners with him when they explored New Haven [together.]
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Generations of students who were introduced to and assisted in their research in African and African Diaspora studies remember Moore Crossey for his kindness of heart and generosity of spirit through his enduring support of their work. His devotion to assist the faculty from all departments in their research was pivotal for the work of Yale’s early Africanists and African American scholars including Professors Robert Ferris Thompson, Robin Winks, Prosser Gifford, Wm. Roger Louis, Sylvia Boone, Sidney Mintz, David Robinson, Leonard Thompson, William Foltz and many others. Since he began at Yale in 1963 until he retired in 1998, Moore Crossey helped for 35 years to establish both African and African American studies as fields of significant academic research and teaching at Yale.
Beyond Yale through his work on the Africana Librarians Council (ALC) of the African Studies Association, Moore Crossey assisted in the creation and support of African studies programs throughout the United States, assisting and inspiring successor generations of professional Africana librarians including, Jim Armstrong, Joseph Lauer and Dorothy Woodson. His thoughtful suggestions and kind guidance to students, faculty and fellow librarians extended for decades after his formal retirement as Yale’s Africana librarian in 1998.