Alexander E. Kerr fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alexander E. Kerr fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Reference code

MS-2-153, Boxes 1-4

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

52 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Dr. Alexander E. Kerr was born in 1898 in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force and went overseas during the latter part of the First World War. When he returned, he graduated from Dalhousie in Arts and from Pine Hill Divinity Hall in Theology. He was ordained to the Christian ministry in 1921 and went to Union Seminary, where he received his Bachelor of Divinity, magna cum laude.

Dr. Kerr served the church briefly in Sydney and Montreal and then accepted a pastorate in Vancouver for five years and in Winnipeg for ten. He left Winnipeg to become principal and professor of Systematic Theology at Pine Hill (1939-1945). In 1945 Dr. Kerr was invited to become president of Dalhousie, the second Dalhousie graduate to be appointed. He was nominated by the Maritime Conference of the United Church, by the Montreal-Ottawa Conference, by the London Conference, and by various other bodies to become moderator of the general council of the church during his early years at Dalhousie, but declined the nomination.

After retiring from the university in 1963, Dr. Kerr became president of the Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada and taught the first class in Old Testament at the Atlantic School of Theology (formerly Pine Hill Divinity College).

Dr. Kerr was presented an honorary doctorate of divinity at the 500th anniversary of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, the only Canadian so honored at the anniversary convocation. He also held honorary degrees from many universities in the Maritimes and from Winnipeg and was a member of the North British Society, first honorary president of the Red Cross Society, a member of the Canadian Mental Health Association, chairman of the building committee for the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Hospital, and honorary president of the Cape Breton Club. Dr. Kerr passed away in Halifax on November 30, 1974 at the age of seventy-six.

Custodial history

The materials were accessioned by Dalhousie University Archives in two accessions, with one taking place in 1972 and the other on an unknown date. The custodial history is unknown.

Scope and content

Fonds contains personal documents of Alexander E. Kerr, including sermons, notes, personal writings and essays, certificates and degrees, pamphlets, publications, newspaper clippings, two photographs, and some correspondence.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See the President's Office fonds (UA-3) for records relating to Kerr's time as President of Dalhousie University.

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Alexander E. Kerr fonds, MS-2-153, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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This fonds description comes from the Dalhousie University Archives Catalog. The complete, original description is available there.

Accession area