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Morris Mesch Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0200-0013

Scope and Contents

The papers of Morris Mesch, along with separate personal materials, focus on a key community project he led to create the Holocaust Memorial Sculpture in Buffalo, NY. As co-Chairman of the committee with Holocaust survivor, Rubin Literman, Morris Mesch’s papers document through meeting related materials, ephemera and photographs the various stages from selecting the artist, fundraising for the costs of the artist and the fabrication of the panels and other aspects of the installation. Award winning sculpture Tony Rosenthal was selected for the commission, and the Holocaust sculpture located in front of the Jewish Community Center, Benderson Building, in Getzville, NY. The papers also highlight the unveiling and subsequent annual commemorative events held on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).


  • 1920-1990
  • Majority of material found within 1977-1987


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The personal papers of Morris Mesch Papers, 1920-1990 (bulk 1977-1987) are open for research. There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or their authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical / Historical

Morris Mesch was born in 1925 in Buffalo, NY and was a practicing attorney. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School and served in the Unites States Armed Services from 1943 through 1946 as a pilot. Graduating from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1950, he was an attorney for the Legal Aid Society from 1950 to 1957, entering private practice in 1958 as a partner in the firm of Gordon and Mesch. Morris Mesch was also an attorney for Legal Services for the Elderly from 1982 to 1985 and for the Erie County Social Services Department from 1985 until 1995, when he retired. He was active on a number of community boards including the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation of Buffalo and Temple Beth El. He also served as President of B’nai Brith in Buffalo. One of the key community projects he led was the selection of an artist, fundraising and implementation of the creation of a Holocaust Memorial Sculpture which is located in front of the Jewish Community Center, Benderson Building, in Getzville, NY. He was awarded Person of the Year Award, from the Buffalo B’nai B’rith, in 1976. He was awarded a Special Service Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the ongoing legal education of the Trial Bar,” in 1989 from the WNY Trial Lawyers Association and a Special Service Award from the Bar Association of Erie County in 1990. In 1987 he was awarded the Samuel Presser Award by the Balfour/Montefiore Lodge. In later life he became a sculptor. He died in September 1997 at the age of 72.


1 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)


Personal papers documenting aspects of local communal leader Morris Mesch. Materials include photographs, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera related to the community Holocaust Memorial Sculpture and volunteer activities and efforts.


This collection is arranged in two series as follows:

  1. Holocaust Memorial Sculpture
  2. Personal materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Helene Mesch donated the papers of Morris Mesch in March 2011. The papers were arranged in November 2015 and it was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in November 2015. The Jewish Buffalo Archives Project was founded in late 2007 under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo with a seed grant from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. The Archives Project collects mainly 20th century documentation relating to the diverse histories, religious traditions and cultures of Jewish communities within the Greater Buffalo area of Western New York, encompassing the geographic areas of Erie and Niagara Counties and partners with the University Archives at the University at Buffalo to make these records accessible. The arrangement and description of the Morris Mesch Papers was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and the Bureau of Jewish Education.


Accruals are not expected to this collection.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in November 2015. EAD finding aid created by University Archives staff in January 2016.


Finding Aid for the Morris Mesch Papers
Finding aid was finalized by Chana Revell Kotzin.
November 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)