Mrs. Theresa Knight Moore

*See below note on surnames

15 Mar 1907 – Feb 16, 1983

First African American woman employed at Newark Public Library at Springfield Branch in 1937. She graduated the Miner Normal School in Washington DC in 1928. Previously in charge of WPA Library Project at Robert Treat Junior High. Appointment made with the help of the Urban League. There were two exhibits on “Negro Advancement” at the Springfield Branch in Feb 1938 and one on “Negro Poetry” in Jun 1938, that she may have contributed to.

In 1946 she was a children’s librarian with the title Junior Librarian at the Van Buren Branch and transferred between Main and Van Buren, and finally back to Springfield that year. In 1947 listed in ALA Bulletin as “jr in FPL, Newark, NJ” (FPL=free public library). In 1957, she worked in the Children’s Room and is listed in the ALA Membership Directory 1965. In the late 1950s she worked at the North End Branch and was on several NJLA Committees, including Secretary of the Division of Libraries for Children and Young People, and the Membership Committee.

She was still listed in events at Newark Library in 1969.

She was also a dramatic soprano.

Mother to a 10 year old daughter as of 1940, Elizabeth, who became M Elizabeth Payne.

Jewish News Jan 16, 1964
New York Age Jan 29, 1938

Childhood / Surnames

Teresa was born Teresa Burrell to Ida and William Burrell in Camden re: the 1910 census, however by the 1915 census she’s living with her grandparents Morris and Evelyn Johnson, along with her mother. In the 1920 census she’s living in Ocean City and her mother has remarried K William Thomas, so she’s listed as “Therasa Thomas”.

The Jun 21, 1928 Washington Star calls her “Theresa Ida Thomas” when she graduates Miner Normal School. She then marries Richard Knight and is listed on the 1930 census as “Theresa Knight”.

In the 1940 census she remains as “Theresa Knight” and her mother is listed as “Johnson”.

The NJ State Marriage Index when she marries Bertram L Moore in 1946, lists her as both Knight and Thomas.



“MEMBERS.” ALA Bulletin 41, no. 14 (1947): H103–441.

“Visiting Ministers and Soloists will participate in Trinity Church Series” Montclair Times Aug 1, 1957

“Lectures” Herald-News Mar 21, 1969

“Moore” Star Ledger Feb 18, 1983

Census records

“Miner Normal Graduates 76” Evening Star Jun 21, 1928

Newark Public Library 1938 Scrapbook, Librariana

NPL News 1945-1954, Newark Public Library

New Jersey Libraries 1958-1959.