Stories

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...

Admission fees rise

Admission fees rise

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1990s

Admission fees jump to $8

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

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1950s

Winifred (Friedl) Needler joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1935 as a draughtsman-cataloguer.  She took a year's leave to study Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology, along with Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics) at Yale, which study she continued upon return to the ROM under the...

A New Wing

A New Wing

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1930s

Argyle House is demolished. Construction begins. The new wing had been in the original plan, and it was hoped that a later phase would fill in the additional spaces between old and new buildings. This hope remains unfulfilled for a further 50 years.

Updating Visitors' First Impresssions

Updating Visitors' First Impresssions

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1970s

During the 70s, there were no big changes to the buildings,  but small touches such as new glass doors, removal of turnstiles, and an information kiosk in the Rotunda were instituted. Outdoors there were display cases and benches. One small new construction contained a cafeteria, a children’s...

An Important Benefactor

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1990s

Louise Hawley Stone donates $2 million to endow a permanent curatorial position, a chair in Far Eastern Art named for her. (In 2013 there are 8 endowed curatorships)

Moving In

Moving In

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1900s

Currelly moves into basement even before the roof is completed and begins to unpack material he has collected in Europe and Egypt.

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...

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

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1960s

This is ROMA, one of two rescue cats who were responsible for rodent control during the 60s. The Museum photographer posed her in the studio. Gladys Wong, a cleaner, brought them from Woodbine Racetrack and fed them as part of her job. They hung out next to the security officers' room in the...

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

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1960s

Peter Swann is announced as the next Director. In 1966, he tackles the space issue first. The ROM must expand or choke to death.