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Homefront: The Virtual Galleries
From the beginning of the war in 1939 to its end in 1945, Albertans watched their lives transformed as the war touched their governments, their communities, and their homes. The artifacts of this pivotal period in Alberta's history have been preserved in a remarkable collection created by Allan and Sharon Kerr. The Kerrs, who now make their home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, have graciously made this collection available online in partnership with the Heritage Community Foundation and the Royal Alberta Museum.
Highlights from this collection are available in five interactive photo galleries on this website. In addition, a searchable database of the collection, comprising over 3,000 images, is available for researchers, students, collectors, and anyone interested in Albertan and Canadian World War II history. There are currently over ten poster categories ranging from “Women at War” to “Wartime Propaganda”. Other sections include images of children and their contributions to the war effort, recruitment centres, civilian defence, and many others.
View the following virtual galleries that showcase unique items from the Kerr Collection:
- Alberta at War - examines the political component of the war in Alberta including the provincial government's response. Moreover, this section will shed light on the development of military bases, internment camps, and prisoner of war camps throughout the province.
- Propaganda - The proliferation of wartime propaganda sought to rally all Canadians behind one cause, for in order to win a war of such magnitude it was necessary for all citizens to be united. This section will explore the relentless multimedia campaign driven by the federal government to ensure that all Canadian were behind the war effort.
- The Women's War - With many of the men gone overseas, women were left with the bulk of the responsibilities on the Homefront; over the course of the war, these women were homemakers, volunteers, farmers, paid workers, and servicewomen, often taking several of those identities. Explore a visual representation of Alberta's women during the war and their wartime responsibilities.
- Children at the Time of War - Children played an integral role on the Homefront participating in various recycling, collections, and rationing programs.
- Homecoming - Homecoming was a joyous reunion with loved ones who had been away for so very long, for many others the end of the war left empty chairs and vacant spaces in households as reminders of those who would never return home.