Stories

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

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1990s

This assorted group came from many departments but the at the core were fast-learning librarians and library technicians. No one's job description mentioned the web: it was a volunteer effort. The ROM was a very early adaptor among museums. From the vantage point of twenty years later, it...

A Museum for the University

A Museum for the University

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1900s

A Royal Commission on the Future of the University recommends establishing a university museum. Sir Edmund Walker has had a concept in mind for at least 20 years. “Every year’s delay is a misfortune, not only to the education of the students.... but to the education and material welfare of the...

Love at the ROM

Love at the ROM

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2010s

Emily and Kyle met in line with hundreds of others at the architectural opening of the ROM’s crystal June 2nd 2007.  The line was long and they stood for 2 hours talking as they waited to see the new ROM.  A lot can happen in 2 hours! It was appropriate that almost six years later, June 24th...

A Wonderful Gift

A Wonderful Gift

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1990s

Herman Hertzog Levy leaves $15 million for the purchase of Chinese bronzes, jades, ceramics, and sculpture. He has already donated many marvellous objects from his own collections. One interesting proviso is that the funds must be spent within 5 years, and so the curators he trusted are able to bid...

Lions on the Move (Again!)

Lions on the Move (Again!)

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2000s

Demolition of the Terrace Galleries requires that the lions move to the Queen's Park frontage, where they may be seen today.

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

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1960s

The space exhibition may have influenced Col R S McLaughlin to donate $2m for  a planetarium and a further million as an endowment fund. (Dr Meen, Chief Mineralogist, had been trying to raise interest for a decade). The University donated the land. At this point, there was again so much...

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

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1940s

J. H. Fleming dies. He has had office space at the ROM since the 20s, when he willed his ornithological collection to the Museum. It was then the largest and most comprehensive private collection of skins, mounts, eggs in North America, with a special focus on birds of paradise. With it came his...

Evolving Governance

Evolving Governance

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1940s

A new Royal Ontario Museum Act increases the size of the Board of Trustees and moves the control and budget entirely to the University of Toronto as a department. There are four discipline museums (Zoology; Palaeontology; Mineralogy & Geology; Archaeology)  plus a Division of Extension, which...

Bill 138: A home for culture and science

Bill 138: A home for culture and science

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1900s

On April 16, 1912, Bill 138 formally establishing the ROM received Royal Assent to “provide a home for culture and science under the same academical roof”. Press coverage was slight owing to the sinking of the Titanic. There were to be five ROMs, each with a director. The Board of Trustees was...

Lions on the Move

Lions on the Move

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1980s

After arriving in Toronto and presiding over a special gallery, for a few years, the lions watched over Bloor Street. Then they went indoors again and within a few years found a place outdoors, where they wear special coats in winter.