Hurricane Camille Photograph Collection PI/NA/H43.6

Camille, a category 5 hurricane, made landfall on the Gulf Coast just east of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, around midnight on August 17, 1969, with winds estimated at 200 miles per hour and tides fifteen to thirty-two feet above normal. As it moved through central Kentucky and into West Virginia and Virginia, it dumped up to thirty-one inches of rain, generating flash floods and landslides. The storm system caused an estimated 259 deaths (three in Cuba, 143 on the Gulf Coast, and 113 in the Virginia floods) and $1.421 billion in damage. Until hurricanes Andrew (1992) and Katrina (2005), Camille was cited as the largest single act of destruction in United States history.

The Hurricane Camille Photograph Collection consists of seventy-three images related to the aftermath of the storm on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The images were combined from three sources. The United States Air Force produced the first eight (black-and-white) photographs that document Keesler Air Force Base personnel involved in the recovery efforts post-landfall. Al Fred Daniel, a professional photographer from Jackson, Mississippi, created twenty-three black-and-white images of commercial and residential property damage. The largest piece of the collection consists of forty-two color photographs taken by John W. Nicholson Jr., also from Jackson, who captured images of the destruction, especially to churches, along most of the Gulf Coast, including Biloxi, Mississippi City, Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

Collection Description General & Tech Data Catalog Record

Image Arrangement and Numbering

The photographs were grouped by source, arranged apparently randomly within that grouping, and assigned consecutive numbers by the curator.

Technical Details

The original scans of the Hurricane Camille Photograph Collection were made by the Image & Sound Section staff in June 2009, according to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Board of Trustees' approved imaging procedures, following ANSI/AIIM recommended practice. Black-and-white photographs were scanned as 8-bit grayscale uncompressed TIFFs at 600 pixels per inch (ppi). Color photographs were scanned as 24-bit RGB uncompressed TIFFs at 600 ppi. For Web display, the original scans of the Hurricane Camille Photograph Collection were converted to JPEGs by the Electronic Archives Section.


The electronic files in the Hurricane Camille Photograph Collection are intended for public use in research, teaching, and private study in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Use clause of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Any use beyond that prescribed by Fair Use requires the permission of the copyright owners. MDAH asks that each image used in a presentation, display, or publication be accompanied by the following credit statement:

Credit: Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Publicity and Privacy Rights

MDAH alerts the user to the issue of publicity and privacy rights of subjects pictured in these images. Distinct from copyright, which concerns the creator/owner of the intellectual content, publicity and/or privacy rights apply to individuals visible in photographs who did not sign a contract or release form giving the photographer the legal right to use his/her image. Publicity and privacy rights also differ from copyright in that there are no exemptions for Fair Use or Educational purposes. These rights are not regulated by federal law but by state statute and common law. When using images from this collection it is the patron's responsibility to determine whether privacy and publicity rights issues may exist and consider the mitigating factors.

Copy Availability

High-resolution TIFFs of the images may be purchased from MDAH. The MDAH Public Order procedure and fee schedule apply. Consult the Photoreproduction and Digital Imaging policy or contact MDAH Reference Staff for order options as well as information on how to obtain and complete the necessary Public Order forms: (601) 576 6876 or