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E.L. Quarantelli Collection Spotlight

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100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion
Halifax - December 11, 1917

​Credit: CORBIS

December 6, 1917 - One hundred years ago, World War I came to Halifax, Nova Scotia when the SS Mont Blanc collided with a Norwegian ship, the SS Imo, in the Narrows of the Upper Halifax harbor. It was a unique wartime collision- the Mont Blanc was carrying explosives from New York to Bordeaux, France in order to support the war effort, and the Imo was on a mission to collect relief supplies for the same.

Approximately 20 minutes elapsed from the time of the collision to the explosion that followed, but the residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia could not have prepared for what came next. The explosion, which remained the largest man-made explosion until the invention of the atomic bomb, flattened the Richmond District and affected thousands of homes beyond, killing an estimated 2,000 people and injuring thousands more. 

To mark the100th anniversary of the disaster, the DRC is featuring items from the E.L. Quarantelli Resource Collection, and from other collections around the world that relate to the disaster and the 100th-anniversary commemoration. 

This cross-section of resources is featured on the new Halifax Resources page. Additionally, special content and interaction with Halifax scholars and other repositories with Halifax collections will take place via Facebook and Twitter on December 6, 2017.

​Photo credit: Nova Scotia Archives

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E.L. Quarantelli Collection Spotlight
  • Disaster Research Center
  • University of Delaware
  • 166 Graham Hall, 111 Academy Street
  • Newark, DE 19716 U.S.A
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  • Phone: 302-831-6618