Jack Corn Collection


Jack Corn Collection


Jack Corn is a retired photojournalist, author and professor who spent a lifetime documenting social and civil unrest across the South and Appalachia. His collection is comprised of hundreds of photographs taken on assignment from The Tennessean and other news outlets.



Collection Items

[Jack Corn's Nikon Camera]
Jack Corn described his work as dependent on lighting conditions: “No matter how much talent a professional photographer has, one keeper, i.e. a good photograph, per one roll of film is a good harvest.” He made these images from 1956 to 1979 in…

[Ed Marlowe, Paralyzed from a Roof Fall in a Coal Mine]
Ed Marlowe worked in the mines for twenty years before breaking his back in 1957 when the roof of a mine fell in on him. Federal inspectors were not even allowed to enter mines until 1941; it would be another six years before Congress authorized the…

[Striking Miners Play Cards on the Picket Line at Brookside Mine, near Harlan, KY]
The miners’ 1972 strike against Duke Power Company over working conditions, wages, and labor practices inspired the award-winning documentary "Harlan County, USA." The miners struck to join United Workers of America, hoping to improve their jobs and…

[Mrs. Helen Allread, Substitute Teacher at Crawford School]
Students at this one-room school in remote Overton County had recently gotten a hot lunch program, one of the first such programs in Tennessee. This was the main meal for the day for some students. Corn later wrote that he wanted to “hold up a mirror…

[A Grandmother and Her Grandson “Just a Sitting,” near Logan, WV]
"The people of Appalachia are a proud people. They were very open and honest with me, welcoming me into their homes and to their tables. They loved the beauty and solitude of the mountains. I understood their love of the land. ...Coal mining changed…

[Sheriff Jack Laxton Administers Oxygen to Rescue Worker Edker Hunnicutt]
After a methane gas and coal dust explosion on May 24, 1965, Corn photographed rescue efforts and the disaster aftermath at Brimstone Mountain for The Nashville Tennessean. Five miners were killed, and the two-day rescue drew several hundred anxious…
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