Nova Scotia Archives

Halifax Explosion 1917 Online Resources

December 6, 1917 is a day indelibly etched in the hearts and minds of the citizens of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. On that Thursday the Norwegian vessel SS Imo, carrying Belgian relief supplies, and the French freighter SS Mont Blanc, carrying munitions, collided in Halifax Harbour, thereby creating what was then considered to be the worst man-made disaster in the world's history.



Soldiers standing guard in the midst of the devastation on Kaye Street east of Gottingen Street, Halifax

'A Vision of Regeneration'

The dynamic story of how Halifax was rebuilt in the years immediately following the disaster is re-created through 150 heritage photographs, maps, architectural plans and documents, plus useful background information. An ideal source for school projects – and a powerful visual memory of a city destroyed and rebuilt.


Roman Catholic Service at Funeral of Unidentified Dead

Halifax Explosion Remembrance Book – A List of Those Who Died

The Nova Scotia Archives is pleased to host the online version of a project recently completed by the Halifax Foundation. The 'Halifax Explosion Remembrance Book' is the first really definitive listing for those killed in the disaster of 6 December 1917. The online version features a searchable database with detailed information for 1950 casualties – more than 300 of whom are newly-confirmed and identified victims.


Halifax Explosion, 1917

Halifax Explosion Film

View thirteen minutes of black-and-white moving images attributed to professional cameraman W.G. MacLaughlan. The film is an early news documentary from the silent-screen era, capturing in eerie silence the waste and devastation of a city destroyed, and the efforts that went into rebuilding it. Newly re-mastered in digital format and running in close to 'real time', these film clips provide the clearest views and the closest details ever seen of the terrible days immediately following 6 December 1917.


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

Personal Narratives

Five first-hand survivor accounts of the Explosion, ranging from a letter written on 10 December 1917 by a Halifax housewife, to the reminiscences of an elderly woman in 1985, looking back to the events of 6 December when she was six years old and at Chebucto School.


Documents concerning the Thaddeus and Mary McTiernan family claim for compensation from the Halifax Relief Committee

Halifax Relief Commission

The most important archival resource for studying the Halifax Explosion is the nearly 60 meters of records accumulated by the Halifax Relief Commission, 1917-1978. View a brief description of this material to plan for in-depth research.