Behind-the-scenes

Monthly Archive: December Behi

Not just for show: how and why museum specimens are collected

Posted: October 31, 2016 - 13:42 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM technician Brad Millen processes a bird specimen that will be added to the ROM's collections. Photo by Samantha Stephens

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Samantha Stephens

The sign on the door seemed quite appropriate. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” I imagine that, as this quote from Dante’s Inferno indicates, this might be what hell feels like. As this last barrier swings open and the dim room is revealed, the swarm of hundreds of tiny creatures moving across the concrete floor completes that vision. However, for some of the ROM’s tireless workers, this environment is heaven. Here resides the dermestid beetle colony. These ravenous beetles are eagerly seeking their next meal. Manoeuvring themselves into the crevices of skeletons, they strip the flesh from delicate specimens with more precision and speed than the nimblest of human fingers.

Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter

Posted: October 25, 2016 - 13:34 , by Stacey Kerr
A portrait photo of Sebastian Kvist out in front of a swamp in the field in Minnesota, U.S.A. Photo by Vincent Luk

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Sally McIntyre

When most people think about the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), they think of dinosaurs or mummies. However, it is the invertebrates that live on the ocean floor and crawl through the soil that make up the most diverse collection at the ROM. So who holds the daunting position of keeper of this vast museum collection? Meet Dr. Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter. 

Clay sealings from Edfu, Egypt in the Greek & Roman collection

Posted: February 9, 2016 - 16:35 , by Kay Sunahara
Ptolemaic seal impressions in collection storage drawers

Over a century after they were acquired Ptolemaic artifacts at the Royal Ontario Museum, Greek & Roman collection, get new homes

A Model Miniature for Pompeii: The House of the Tragic Poet

Posted: June 30, 2015 - 10:07 , by Kay Sunahara
House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii, ROM miniature model

Behind-the-Scenes at the Royal Ontario Museum's Pompeii in the Shadow of the Volcano exhibit.

A dusty old model of the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii is carefully deconstructed in order to craft a new touchable interactive version to be installed in the Pompeii exhibit.

Exhibit in the Making: Pompeii in the Shadow of the Volcano

Posted: June 8, 2015 - 13:36 , by Kay Sunahara
Lead curator Paul Denis in the finished Pompeii exhibit

Behind-the-scenes highlights from a year of exhibit planning at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

How Install an Ancient Roman Bronze Statue in 10 Not-so Easy Steps

Posted: June 5, 2015 - 09:53 , by Kay Sunahara
A crowd of ROM staff and media gather for the installation

We are in the midst of installation for our Pompeii, In the Shadow of the Volcano exhibit, opening June 13, 2015. Here's a quick glimpse of behind-the-scenes on the exhibition floor today (June 4th).

To X-Ray an Egg: Behind the Scenes of Empty Skies

Posted: September 11, 2014 - 23:50 , by Stacey Kerr
the flashing sign in the x-ray lab glows white with red text that reads "x-ray room in operation, do not enter"

“That egg is approximately one hundred and forty-four years old,” says Brad Millen, a technician who works in the ROM’s Natural History collections. Suddenly the large speckled shell that sits in the palm of my hand feels just a little bit heavier. I feel the weight of its place in the world - it is the egg of a passenger pigeon, and its species has been extinct for a hundred years.

Empty Skies: Behind-the-Scenes - Recreating Passenger Pigeon Habitat

Posted: September 5, 2014 - 00:08 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM Artist Georgia Guenther gives a passenger pigeon mount a final check before installing it into the exhibit

Come behind-the-scenes with environmental visual communication students/guest bloggers Justine DiCesare and Vincent Luk to take a look using photos and video to see how the flowers and scenery were created for the new exhibit: Empty Skies: The Passenger Pigeon Legacy.

First Peek at Empty Skies: The Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon

Posted: August 21, 2014 - 23:02 , by Stacey Kerr
Stuffed passenger pigeons from the ROM collections sit on a table in the Gallery of Birds waiting to be installed in the new special exhibit

The ROM's latest special exhibit, Empty Skies: The Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon swoops in this Saturday, August 23. Get an exclusive first glimpse at the behind-the-scenes of the exhibit being installed!

Up on the Rooftop - The ROM's Green Roof

Posted: August 14, 2014 - 12:47 , by Stacey Kerr
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A wide view of the ROM Green Roof, facing North to the structure of the Crystal

Earlier this summer, a group of Torontonian researchers and PhD students were granted rare access to the ROM’s green roof, “Liza’s Garden” to survey the biodiversity, take soil samples, and to look for changes in the vegetation profile.