Stories

William Swinton, Director, 1962 - 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962 - 1965

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

William Elgin Swinton is appointed Director.  Having retired from the British Museum of Natural History and come to Toronto to be head of the ROM ‘s Life Sciences Division, he is both a scholar and a populariser, especially of dinosaurs. He uses television broadcasts to call attention to the...

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

ROM Murals Created

ROM Murals Created

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1940s

Sylvia Hahn, an artist on staff, completed four murals in what was then the Armour Court. Displays of armour were a popular museum feature. Charles Currelly, Director of the ROM of Archaeology,  thought that armour was an important resource for teaching about history and craftsmanship. Keeping...

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

by Annette Boenke-Jarek

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...

Madeleine Fritz, Pioneer Scientist

Madeleine Fritz, Pioneer Scientist

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

There were many firsts for Dr. Fritz.. She joined the Palaeontology department in 1927, having completed her doctorate (the first woman to receive a PhD in Geology at U of T) under Dr. Parks. She loved teaching and was a prolific writer. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (the...

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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.

Children Fundraise

Children Fundraise

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

As a Centennial project (Canada's 100th) Toronto school children raise funds for a  protoceratops specimen. Publicity for this project is typical of the new ways of community building.

Canadiana Building

Canadiana Building

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Sigmund Samuel, who has been an important donor as well as a collector in his own right, pays for a building to house the fine and decorative art and rare books that he has donated, as well as the provincial archives. This building remains as a second ROM location until very recently and shows up...

Gayle's Story

Gayle's Story

by Gayle Gibson

1950s

When I was a girl in Grade School, my parents allowed me to take the bus and streetcar, by myself, down to the Museum every Sunday afternoon. I guess the world seemed a safer place in those days.  My first visit had been with my Brownie troop, little girls marching up and down the grand stairway,...