The Mineralogical Record
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Thomas P. Moore
(1946-    )

Thomas Paul Moore was born January 29, 1946, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Florence and Louis Moore, an equipment salesman. As a young boy he was fond of digging sharp cubic and pyritohedral limonite pseudomorphous after pyrite—he and his friends called the little brown shapes "monkey gold"—from construction sites and other soil exposures in the city of Lancaster. He also haunted the collection of local minerals at Franklin and Marshall College's North Museum of Natural History in Lancaster, and as a teenager he made regular pilgrimages to the great mineral collection which was at that time on public display at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

Between 1964 and 1968 Tom attended the University of Delaware in Newark, carrying a double major in English and Geology. He acted in plays for the university's drama department, wrote fiction (and won several creative writing awards), and worked as an assistant to his mineralogical mentor, Dr. Peter B. Leavens, in organizing, curating and augmenting the Irénée Dupont mineral collection, bequeathed to the university in 1965.

Though he had been active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, Tom volunteered for the Army following graduation (rather than allowing himself to be drafted), and trained as an Intelligence Analyst. Between 1968 and 1971 he was assigned as an interpreter of aerial surveillance imagery during a one-year tour in South Vietnam and a 15-month tour in Germany. After his discharge in 1971 he attended Graduate School at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and received his M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing in 1975.

After a one-year instructorship in English at Cornell (teaching courses in writing, Shakespeare, and 20th-century literature), Tom married Lynn Louise Flanagan, whom he had met in Ithaca, and in the summer of 1976 the couple moved to Germany. There they remained for the next 15 years while Tom worked as an instructor in English Composition and Literature for the overseas division of the University of Maryland, teaching a wide range of courses for U.S. service personnel and their eligible family members at a dozen locations in Germany and one in southern Spain. He also became fluent in German during this time, and traveled widely throughout Europe to collect minerals. While in Germany Tom also served as Fiction Editor for an English-language literary publication, Gathering, and published short stories and literary essays in several venues; in 1987 his book in the field of literary criticism, entitled The Style of Connectedness: "Gravity's Rainbow" and Thomas Pynchon, was published by the University of Missouri Press, winning much critical acclaim.

Tom wrote the first of a series of reports on European mineral shows for the Mineralogical Record in 1986, on the Ste-Marie-aux-Mines Show. Until leaving Europe in 1991, he reported on the Munich Show every year and at intervals on other important shows in Europe, and he wrote articles on his mineralogical travels in Scandinavia and Czechoslovakia.

With the end of the Cold War and the beginning of massive U.S. troop withdrawals from Europe, Tom and his family returned to the United States and settled in southeastern Connecticut. During the next ten years he taught English courses for local colleges and universities, and also reported each year on the Tucson and Denver shows for the Mineralogical Record. In 1994 he traveled to Greece to do an article, and in 1998 his 80-page account of development work at the Sweet Home mine during the 1990's was published.

In 2001 Tom was hired as an Editor for the Mineralogical Record and moved to Tucson, where he now lives. Since then, besides carrying out normal editorial duties, he has written numerous show reports, book reviews, and full-scale articles for the Mineralogical Record, including most of the expanded special issue on the Ojuela mine published in September-October 2003. He also writes a series of online reports, "What's new in the mineral world," which appears regularly elsewhere on this website.

Since his undergraduate days Tom has been an avid collector of "thumbnail"-size mineral specimens. His collection, currently numbering about 1,500 specimens, is a general systematic one, but with emphasis on classic localities, particularly those in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Germany. He has twice displayed some of the best of his thumbnails at the Tucson Show, and remains alert for chances to augment and improve his already impressive collection.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore Tom Moore
(Gail Spann photo)
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore At a tailgate mineral show in 1966
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore 49 x 77 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore 49 x 77 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore 49 x 76 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore 62 x 92 mm,
A label supplied by Tom Moore for specimens illustrated in his online column, "What's new in the mineral world."
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore 62 x 92 mm,
A label supplied by Tom Moore for specimens illustrated in his online column, "What's new in the mineral world."
The Mineralogical Record - Thomas P. Moore 62 x 92 mm,
A label supplied by Tom Moore for specimens illustrated in his online column, "What's new in the mineral world."
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