University of North Texas Grant – July 2014

In July 2014, the Headliners Foundation awarded a $2,500 grant from the Headliner’s Foundation Special Project Fund to the University of North Texas (UNT) for digitizing a representative sample of the Clark Family Photography Collection that were published in the news to create an online version of the collection. These photos may be used for the purpose of teaching and for scholarship.

The Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas received the complete photography collection of Joe Clark and his son, Junebug Clark, which includes more than 2 million prints with an appraised value of $206,000. Joe Clark, who died in 1989, was a photojournalist who garnered critical acclaim for his images of the Appalachian region of Tennessee. Junebug followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a commercial photographer.

Grant funds will be applied to digitizing photographs from news publications that are representative of the photojournalistic style Joe Clark employed, including everything from detailed spreads of Clark’s native Cumberland Gap, Tennessee to images of political events in Michigan. The archives have significant potential, providing a rich photojournalistic chronicle of American history. They also present an interesting study of the way commercial photography reflects regional culture.

Much of the Clark Family Photography Collection was featured in national publications including Life magazine between 1949 and 1958, Look, National Geographic and Newsweek. The Clark’s also took extensive numbers of photographs for the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. The Clark Family Photography Collection will be available in the UNT Digital Library, which is the top-rated digital repository in Texas and is ranked 14th best in North America. The materials in the UNT Digital Library have been cited by scholars hundreds of times, including international users which comprise 43 percent of the audience of the UNT Digital Library.  Every month, about 350,000 people use the UNT Digital Library.

Photography collections are heavily used for teaching and for scholarship. The rich historic context of the Clark Family Photography Collection lends itself particularly well to this purpose.

In summary, this collection is a tremendous asset for students in journalism, mass/visual communication and media related fields.