Nova Scotia Archives

1917 Halifax Explosion

Personal Narratives and other materials

First-hand survivor accounts, observations by visitors in the days immediately afterward, photographs, and other miscellaneous material relating to the disaster of 6 December 1917. This is a continuing series, with new items added each year, leading up to the centenary on 6 December 2017.

Some of the items presented below come from records accumulated by Archibald MacMechan, professor of English language and literature at Dalhousie University, Halifax NS. Immediately following the 1917 Explosion, MacMechan was requested by authorities to prepare an official history of the explosion and was given the title of director of the Halifax Disaster Record Office, 1917-1918.

Also, Listen and watch videos based on the stories of five survivors. Hear their accounts of the disaster voiced and see what they saw, as life began again, through the images by W. G. MacLaughlan in January and February of 1918 as he photographed what was still standing in these neighborhoods.


'Halifax Explosion' reminiscence of Jean Holder, 6 December 1985

Reference: Halifax Explosion Collection Nova Scotia Archives MG 27 vol. 9 no. 4


Excerpt about the Halifax Explosion from The Long Walk by Harold J. Connolly

Reference: Harold J. Connolly Nova Scotia Archives 2007-052/002 file 1



Personal Narrative by Dr. C. C. Ligoure to Archibald MacMechan

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 166


Personal Narrative by Agnes Foran to Archibald MacMechan

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 145


Personal Narrative given by H.M. Rosenberg, Dartmouth to Archibald MacMechan

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 46g -46h


Report of the Dwyer Home, Spring Garden Road, by Mrs. N. Duffus, 77 Inglis St.

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 21


Report of the Visitation Branch of Relief Committee Work by Mrs. G.A. McKintosh assisted by Salvation Army Staff

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 32-32a


List of name of Districts and Visiting officers

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 32b, 32c, 32d


Investigation Committee Case Record Form

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 32e


Report of Volunteer Work Undertaken by Mrs. G. A. MacKintosh until midnight, Saturday, 8 December 1917

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 34


Salvation Army Investigation List

Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 40



Ships in the harbour after the Explosion

Reference: James Burn Russell Nova Scotia Archives accession 2007-062


Norwegian steamship Imo in the harbour after the Explosion

Reference: James Burn Russell Nova Scotia Archives accession 2007-062


Letter from Chester Brown to Lawrence, 12 December 1917

Reference: Chester Brown Nova Scotia Archives accession 2008-020


Letter from Chester Brown to 'Folks' in United States, 16 December 1917

Reference: Chester Brown Nova Scotia Archives accession 2008-020


Pass for Devasted Area No. 11788

Reference: Murray Kellough Nova Scotia Archives accession 2010-015


Letter from Ethel Jane Bond to Murray Kellough, 16 December 1917

Reference: Murray Kellough Nova Scotia Archives accession 2010-015



Campbell Road (later Barrington Street) looking north from Rector Street after the explosion

Reference: Gauvin & Gentzel Nova Scotia Archives Photo / negative number N-201


I.C.R. Station and King Edward Hotel, Halifax, N.S.

Reference: Annabel Siteman Ells Nova Scotia Archives no. 55 / negative number N-9125


9. Halifax Railway Station, in which 60 persons were killed by falling roof

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Places - Halifax - Explosion, 1917 - Postcards / negative number N-822




Showing the devastation and havoc wrought in north end of Dartmouth

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Library F 107 H13 EX7 no. 9



''Rev. Canon Henry Ward Cunningham, D.D., Rector, St. George’s Rectory…'' 28 September 1937

Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Drawer - Interior Decoration - St. George’s Rectory no. 2


Hattie Young, Halifax, to Mrs. Young, 10 December 1917

Reference: Halifax Explosion Collection Nova Scotia Archives MG 27 vol. 9 no. 9


             

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