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Ace Alagna Photographs (1944 - 1998)
RepositorySeton Hall University, Msgr. William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center
Sizeca. 40,000 images
Collection Description
Armando "Ace" Alagna (1925-2000) was born and raised in Newark. He was an accomplished photographer who maintained his own studio in Newark. From 1968 he was the publisher of "The Italian Tribune," a weekly newspaper serving the Italian-American community of northern New Jersey. The Tribune was initially bi-lingual and later English-only. The paper was a generously illustrated chronicle of Italian-American life and culture in New Jersey, with Alagna supplying most of the photographs used. For many years the tribune sponsored gala Columbus Day parades in Newark.

In addition to covering parades, banquets, politicians, and celebrity visits in New Jersey, Alagna credentialed as a White House Press Corps photographer and regularly traveled to Washington to photograph political notables. He also tried his hand at acting, appearing in a small role in the 1973 gangster film, "The Seven-Ups." He stepped down as publisher of the Tribune in the late 1990s.

Alagna's family had a strong connection to St. Lucy's Church in Newark. When his well-attended funeral was held there in 2000, his daughter, Marion Alagna Fortunato, said in her eulogy, "There were few places he cherished more than this. His father helped build it decades ago and he was forever devoted to St. Lucy's and the Blessed Mother.... He wasn't just a father to me and my sisters; he wasn't just a husband to our mother. He was someone to whom many of you turned. I know how much it meant to him to be able to help in time of trouble and how much he enjoyed celebrating prosperity."
Collection Contents
The Alagna photograph collection consists of thousands of negatives and a much smaller number of prints, as well as videos and layout sheets. Most of the images appear to have been shot for possible use in "The Italian Tribune" and most are black and white; some later work is in color. Much of the photographic work is undoubtedly by Alagna, but it is likely of that some images were shot by other photographers working for the Tribune. A number of images picture Alagna with celebrities, or in groups.

Subjects are mostly Italian-American people and events in Newark and surrounding communities, but there are also some images shot in Washington, DC. Newark-related subjects include: banquets and events of Italian-American organizations such as UNICO, church events, politicians and civic leaders, entertainers, celebrities and awardees, police officials, labor and business leaders, student groups, and Columbus Day parades (ca. 1970-1990s). There are also a few images of non-Italian parades and events in Newark.

More than 2,000 negatives from the collection have been digitized and are available online at:

More scanned images will be posted as work on the collection continues. A smaller selection of Alagna images is available at:
FormatsDigital materials; Photographic materials
SubjectsHolidays; Italian-American History; Politics and Government; Theater / Performing Arts
Time Period20th Century
Access policyOpen for research, with restrictions
Access Policy NoteSpecial arrangements must be made for access to negatives and audio-visual materials; consult archives staff.
Finding AidYes
Finging Aid URL