Stories

Dawn of DMV

Dawn of DMV

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Museum Volunteers committee is started, soon becoming the Department of Museum Volunteers. Over the years since, it has been a crucial force in fundraising and programming. For a long time, they were predominantly women but times have changed! Watch the video for a capsule history of the...

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

by Ian Montagnes

1960s

[Chief Mineralogist Dr. Vic] Meen was in Teheran when an unexpected visitor appeared at my office door in October 1964. He seemed inconsequential: a short, elderly man in a grey overcoat. I was alone in the room and on the phone with Dr Swinton, who was at home with a cold. Sharon, my secretary,...

The View from 'Home'

The View from 'Home'

by Patricia Shaughnessy

1960s

ROM was one of my favorite haunts growing up in the '60's. Dad was executive manager of the Park Plaza Hotel across the street, and we lived on the 11th floor of the south wing. The rich green of ROM's copper roof dominated our view every time we looked out our windows. It felt like...

Ruth Home

by Kate Zankowicz

1930s

Ruth M. Home developed the education department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1928-1945. She was an important figure in the history of the museum, and more broadly, in the history of museum-based education in the province. She developed programming that was geared towards what were then...

Family tradition

Family tradition

by James Hinnecke

1960s

My parents had a defined set of family activities that we would do together. One of these was visiting the Royal Ontario Museum. We used to go at least annually by subway -- taking the subway was a novel experience in itself for kids who seldom left suburbia. In those days many exhibits were kept...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

This story comes from Elvira Hamilton, who joined the ROM in 1913 and was a staff member for 48 years. " I well remember the night the bells didn't ring throughout the Museum. This was the responsibility of the guard on duty. I don't recall his name but he had a physique that would...

My Three Things

My Three Things

by Karen Melville

1950s

When I was a kid, I was lucky to live close enough to the R OM to visit it on my own. And I did, frequently. I explored it minutely over the years but there were three "wow" exhibits I returned to over and over. One of them would likel y be on every kid 's list but the other two,...

McLuhan and the ROM

McLuhan and the ROM

by Lindsay Sharp

1960s

Lindsay Sharp tells a Marshall McLuhan story. See also the story "New Technology". He doesn't mention by name Harley Parker, head of design and a great collaborator with McLuhan, but they scandalised a museum convention with their ideas.

Museum and University Prepare to Divorce

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

The University of Toronto requests “a survey of the ROM in its relation to the University of Toronto, the schools of Ontario, and the public”. When the report is made, it recommends that there should be a separation from the University with a full time academic head.

Tactile Tours

Tactile Tours

by Kate Zankowicz

1960s

Two unnamed women are carefully running their fingers around the rim of a lion’s mouth. It’s a ceramic Wedgwood ornament from the nineteenth century. They are in a study room, presumably a behind-the-scenes curatorial space at the museum. A volunteer instructor stands behind them, watching...