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.


Ships in the harbour after the ExplosionNew
Reference: James Burn Russell Nova Scotia Archives accession 2007-062

Norwegian steamship Imo in the harbour after the ExplosionNew
Reference: James Burn Russell Nova Scotia Archives accession 2007-062

Letter from Chester Brown to Lawrence, 12 December 1917New
Reference: Chester Brown Nova Scotia Archives accession 2008-020

Letter from Chester Brown to 'Folks' in United States, 16 December 1917New
Reference: Chester Brown Nova Scotia Archives accession 2008-020

Pass for Devasted Area No. 11788New
Reference: Ethel Jane Bond Nova Scotia Archives accession 2010-015

Letter from Ethel Jane Bond to Murray Kellough, 16 December 1917New
Reference: Ethel Jane Bond Nova Scotia Archives accession 2010-015

'Personal Narrative' given by Andrew Cobb, 20 June 1918 to Archibald MacMechan, Director, Halifax Disaster Record Office
Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 131

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

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

'Personal Narrative' given by Dr. M.J. Burris, Dartmouth to Archibald MacMechan, Director, Halifax Disaster Record Office
Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 122

North End grocery store occupied by Robt. Dares, corner of Windmill Road and Jamison street
Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Library F 107 H13 EX7 no. 9

Showing the devastation and havoc wrought in north end of Dartmouth
Reference: Nova Scotia Archives Library F 107 H13 EX7 no. 9

'Personal Narrative' given by Rev. H.W. Cunningham, Rector of St. George's Anglican Church, Halifax to Archibald MacMechan, Director, Halifax Disaster Record Office
Reference: Archibald MacMechan Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 2124 no. 138

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

'Halifax Explosion' reminiscence of Jean Holder 6 December 1985
Reference: Halifax Explosion Collection Nova Scotia Archives MG 27 vol. 9 no. 4