Fredric Mosher, UC Berkeley emeritus professor and book historian, dies at age 85

By Fernando Quintero, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- Fredric J. Mosher, professor emeritus in the School of Information & Management Systems (SIMS) at the University of California, Berkeley, and an expert on the history of books, died of a heart attack on May 30 at his home in Kensington. He was 85.

Mosher taught at the school from 1950, when it was called the School of Librarianship, until his retirement in 1981. He headed the instruction in reference and bibliography and taught the history of books and printing. His research centered on the history of books, printing, publishing and early forms of bibliographical description.

During his career at UC Berkeley, Mosher also was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Royal School of Librarianship in Copenhagen from 1963-64 and worked on the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue in the British Library in London from 1977-78.

Among his publications was the book "A Guide to Danish Bibliography," which he co-authored with E. Munch-Petersen. It was published in Copenhagen in 1965. He also compiled, with Archer Taylor, "The Bibliographical History of Anonyma and Pseudonuma" (University of Chicago Press, 1951).

Interested in issues concerning book selection and censorship, Mosher edited "Freedom of Book Selection" (Chicago: American Library Association, 1954).

While in retirement, Mosher was a major contributor of articles about American printing to the revised edition of the "Lexikon des Gesamten Buchwesens," the leading encyclopedia on the history of books.

The Bancroft Library's Regional Oral History Office recently recorded Mosher's history.

Mosher received his AB in 1934 and his AM in 1935 in English from the University of North Dakota. He earned a Bachelor of Library Science (BLS) degree from the University of Chicago in 1948. In 1950, he received his PhD in English from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Before arriving at UC Berkeley as an instructor in 1950, Mosher taught English at the University of North Dakota from 1935-36 and at the University of Illinois from 1936-43. After that, he served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant from 1943-46. Later in 1946, he was hired at the Newberry Library in Chicago as an apprentice librarian. He eventually became head of the reference department.

Mosher is survived by his wife of 62 years, Evelyn, and sons Randy and Allan.

A memorial service for Mosher was held on June 2 at Trinity United Methodist Church, where he was an active member.


This server has been established by the University of California at Berkeley Public Information Office. Copyright for all items on this server held by The Regents of the University of California. Thanks for your interest in UC Berkeley.
More Press Releases | More Campus News and Events | UC Berkeley Home Page


Send comments to: