Stories

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...

Extended Hours

Extended Hours

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1970s

Improving access to the ROM, hours are extended. The museum is open on Mondays 10 am- 5 pm; Tuesday- Saturday 10 am- 9pm;  Sunday 1 pm- 9pm. In Toronto the Good, Sunday openings are still somewhat of a novelty.

John McNeill, Director, 1990-1997

John McNeill, Director, 1990-1997

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1990s

John McNeill is appointed Director. Coming to Toronto from a professorship in botany at the University of Ottawa, he has been the Associate Director, Curatorial.Here he speaks of his mandate.

Madeleine Fritz, Pioneer Scientist

Madeleine Fritz, Pioneer Scientist

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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...

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

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1970s

James Cruise is appointed Director.  A botanist, he has been recruited from the University of Toronto. For the next decade, he oversees physical expansion and a new mission that is captioned “Meaningful Survival”. Almost immediately, the dream must be revised, as the provincial government...

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...

A New Presence on Queen's Park Crescent

A New Presence on Queen's Park Crescent

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1930s

New wing opens at a cost of $1.8m. Staff have their own keys to the new front door and many have a numbered parking space in the courtyard.

Into the Heart of Africa

Into the Heart of Africa

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1980s

The exhibition opens in November with good attendance at the public programs. Early in the next year, protests begin and escalate. ROM changes the process by which exhibitions are proposed and approved. Full text of the catalogue may be found at...

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...

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

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1910s

The ROM is fortunate that Sir Edmund Walker believed in a museum for Toronto that would be both academic and public. He was able to gather all the stakeholders together so that the initial funding would be 50:50 government and university. As President of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, as well as...