Stories

Partial to Pyramids?

Partial to Pyramids?

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2000s

The memory is fleeting but it seems to me the gallery that housed the ROM’s mummy Anjau was much more spacious and brightly lit when I first visited him 26 years ago. Or could it be the lens of a 10 year old’s joy which fills the scene with so much light? I was captivated by everything Egyptian...

Streamlining, Budget woes, Celebrating

Streamlining, Budget woes, Celebrating

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1980s

A major organisational change results in three streams: curatorial; education and communication; and administration and facilities. Finance Committee at Queen ‘s Park calls senior managers to explain cost overruns. The first 25 year service dinner is held and staff are presented with a lapel pin...

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...

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...

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

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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...

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...

First ROM Employee

First ROM Employee

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1900s

Charles Trick Currelly is appointed a collector for the University of Toronto at $500/year salary. He is working on excavations in Egypt and when back in Toronto, he arranges to display some of the material collected so that the people he is cultivating will be infected with enthusiasm and write...

Absorbed

Absorbed

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1950s

This is one of my favourite images. We don't have a date or a name. To me, it conveys perfectly the connection with objects that we can foster. 

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...

5 millionth visitor

5 millionth visitor

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1940s

Since the doors officially opened on March 19, 1914,  5 million visitors have walked through the galleries.