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Black and white photograph of a man sitting beside a tent in the desert.

Photo of the first director of the ROM, Charles Currelly, on expedition in Egypt, 1903-4.

Before you go, did you know...

  • Margaret Atwood's 1979 novel, Life Before Man, features a female palaeontologist who works in the ROM's labs. At one point in the story, dinosaurs break out of the building and descend on the Bloor St. Colonnade!
  • The ROM has many animals in its collection that used to live at the Toronto Zoo. Three are on display: Bull (the White rhino), Doni (the Komodo dragon), and Arminius (nicknamed Gus, the Vancouver Island marmot).
  • The ROM's dual mandate is carved on either side of the Queen's Park doors: world cultures, "The arts of man through all the years" and natural history, "The record of nature through countless ages."
  • The oldest object in the ROM is the Allende meteorite. It contains minerals from the formation of the solar system… 4.5 billion years ago!
  • The ROM has a larger collection of birdstones (aboriginal stone carvings) than any other museum in the world.
  • The ROM houses the largest collection of Chinese artifacts outside of China.
  • Charles Trick Currelly, the ROM's co-founder and first curator, used to walk the halls in his nightshirt after hours (he had a cot in his office)… and he still does! Many staff recount tales of seeing Currelly's ghost passing through the halls.
  • When famed Canadian director James Cameron was a boy, he saw a submersible, called Subliminos, on a truck outside the ROM. This sparked his lifelong pursuit of deep sea exploration.
  • The ROM became the ROM on April 16, 1912 under Bill 138. But the news was overshadowed by another story: two days earlier the RMS Titanic sank during its maiden voyage.
  • The oldest book in the ROM's library is De re libellus vestiaria (The Little Book of Clothing). It was published in Paris in 1541, and it's a second edition!