Skip to main content

Photographs Showing the Destruction in St. Pierre from the 1902 Mt. Pelée Volcanic Eruption

Identifier: MSS 0421

Scope and Content

These photographs show the devastation caused by the Mount Pelée eruption on May 8th 1902, which killed approximately 30,000 people, fifteen percent of Martinique's population at the time. The collection contains images of the rebuilding efforts that occurred after the eruption. Twenty photographs show buildings, streets and views of St. Pierre, several of which show cadavers in the debris. Three large images show a general view of the region and the evolution of the landscape from May to October 1902. Three large photographs show the destruction of the interior and exterior of the cathedral. Also interesting are "before and after" images of the cemetery. Eight photographs show Fort de France and the arrival of numerous disaster refugees. Another photograph shows reconstruction work after a fire. Also included are two images of Spanish boats, likely returning from the Spanish-American war in Cuba.


  • Creation: 1902


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Mt. Pelée main volcanic eruption in Martinique occurred on May 8, 1902 and is considered one of the worst volcanic catastrophe of the twentieth century. The eruption caused the death of approximately 30,000 people, and damaged the city of St. Pierre, located in the northwestern region of the island. The volcano is currently non active.


.01 Linear feet (1 Folder)

Language of Materials



A collection of 28 images showing the aftermath and damages in St. Pierre, Martinique caused by the 1902 volcanic eruption of Mt. Pelée.


The photos are arranged according to the album's original order.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at

Acquisition Information

Purchased in 2018.

Alternative Format Available

Digital reproductions of selected items in the collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Processing Notes

The collection was originally mounted in an album. Due to conservation concerns (the photographs are not stable); they were digitized. Afterwards, the photographs were dismounted from the album. The photographs are now housed in a mylar sleeve that includes the caption assigned to each of them in the album. The captions are also visible in the digital surrogate.

A Guide to the Photographs Showing the Destruction in St. Pierre from the 1902 Mt. Pelée Volcanic Eruption
Finding aid created by Katiana M. Bagué
April 2018
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America