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Collection Title: Moore (Charles) Civil Rights Photograph Portfolio

Collection Number: M405

Dates: 1958-1999

Volume: 2.50 cu. ft.

Provenance: The photograph portfolio and photography books were donated by Professor Ed Wheeler of the University of Southern Mississippi Journalism Department in 1998. Dr. Toby Graham donated four photographs of Moore at McCain Library and Archives in 1999.

Restrictions: Available for research use by the serious student and scholar.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Charles Moore was born in 1931 in Hackleburg, Alabama but grew up in nearby Tuscumbia, Alabama. After graduating from Deshler High School in Tuscumbia, he joined the US Marines. He served three years in the military, and then used his GI benefits to help fund his education at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.

Mr. Moore returned to Alabama and began his career in fashion photography in a portrait studio. In 1957 he left fashion photography and went to Montgomery to work as a photographer at The Montgomery Advertiser newspaper. After several assignments involving the Civil Rights Movement, Moore took a series of photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being arrested after trying to visit a friend in the courthouse. Mr. Moore was the only photographer at the scene, and his photos were noticed nationwide. It was those photographs that caught the attention of Life magazine editors, who later employed Mr. Moore and frequently published his photographs. In 1962, Moore quit his job at the newspaper and became a freelance photojournalist.

Moore is well known for his civil rights photographs, which include the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi in 1962; Ku Klux Klan rallies in North Carolina in 1965; and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. He also photographed the civil war in Dominican Republic; the Vietnam War; and political disturbances in Haiti and Venezuela.

Charles Moore won the first annual Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism in 1989. Supported by Kodak, Mr. Moore has traveled extensively to universities around the country to present lectures and workshops on photography. Mr. Moore's photographs have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, and his books include The Mother Lode: A Celebration of California's Gold Country (1999) and Powerful Days, The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore (1991). Charles Moore now resides in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts working as a freelance photographer.


"About Charles Moore." Retrieved on February 1, 2005 from

Kaplan, John. (1998). "Charles Moore: Biography." Retrieved on February 1, 2005 from (no longer online)

Kingsbury, Pam. "The Civil Rights Movement from Behind the Lens: An Interview with Charles Moore." Retrieved on February 1, 2005 from

Scope and Content:

This collection contains a complete set (number 16 of 25) of Charles Moore’s “Pictures That Made a Difference: The Civil Rights Movement.” The set includes 12 framed and matted photographs (Box 2, 3, 4, and 5) taken throughout the South between 1958-1965 and a framed and matted introductory description of the limited edition set (Box 1). Each photograph is numbered and signed by Mr. Moore.

Accompanying this set is Charles Moore’s book Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore (1991), which includes background information about each photograph included in the set, as well as many other of Mr. Moore’s photographs (Box 1). Also contained in Box 1 is a Master’s thesis, A Study of the Philosophy of Photography by Eddy Lee Wheeler for East Texas State University (1975), five photographs of Charles Moore, and a poster announcing a lecture by Charles Moore on the USM Hattiesburg campus in 1990 (oversize materials in mapcase).

Other Finding Aids:
Photograph Log

Moore (Charles) Civil Rights Photograph Portfolio
Item Separation List

Gardner, Steve. Rambling Mind. Tokyo Japan: Verso Gallery, 1994. Transferred to the
Mississippiana Collection in McCain Library.


Accession Number:              AM10-95                               

Given By:                               Dr. Chris Campbell    

Date of Receipt:                    March 6, 2008           

Extent:                                   1 item 

Inclusive Dates:                    1989   

Form of Material (Letters, Minutes, etc.):

Box that originally held a complete set (number 16 of 25) of Charles Moore’s “Pictures That Made a Difference: The Civil Rights Movement”. Contains title on front and portfolio information inside. Box is 14 ¾ x 18 ¾ x 2 ½ in size.

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