Photographer Joe Sarcone's negatives and photographs donated to Columbus Library

July 6, 2013 3:43:17 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


For many decades, photographer Joseph "Joe" James Sarcone documented the places and faces of Columbus. Now, a visual archive of his work -- and a slice of the city's history -- has been donated to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library for preservation. 


More than 8,000 photographic negatives, prints, and slides taken by Sarcone were recently given to the Local History Department at the library located at 314 Seventh St. N.  


The images, dating roughly from the 1950s to the 1990s, cover a wide variety of subjects including weddings, schools, family portraits, events, businesses, people, homes, flowers and birds. 


The vast assortment of images is a valuable record of the city's development, architecture and citizenry during an era of expansion. 


Archivist Mona Vance said, "This is an extraordinary collection that captures late 20th century Columbus and the surrounding area. Sarcone's lens captured buildings and events no longer in existence." 


The processing of the photographs will be a lengthy undertaking due to the abundant size of the collection. Among the tasks ahead will be re-sleeving all the negatives and prints in acid-free mylar and creating a spread sheet system that maximizes organization and intellectual access to the contents.  




You can help 


The library is accepting monetary donations to go towards the preservation of this collection. Checks should be made to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. 


"The long-term goal is that we would like to eventually digitize the collection, for preservation and to minimize the use of the original images -- and so that people anywhere in the world can view them," said Vance. 


Sarcone was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1919 and died in 1998. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Army. He owned and operated a photography studio named Sarcone Photographic Art. He also taught photography classes at Mississippi University for Women and worked for The Commercial Dispatch newspaper.  


For more information, contact Vance at 662-329-5304 or at [email protected]

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.