Stories

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 Brilliant Career

by Robert Taylor

1950s

Robert Taylor and  the ROM My first contact with the ROM was in 1948 when our grade 4 class from Coleman Avenue School took the Bloor streetcar along the Danforth to Avenue Road and across to the museum.  We were in awe of the magnitude of the building itself as we trundled up the concrete...

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...

Love at first snap

by Meryl Leslie

1950s

I was asked to attend the ROM by my then, classmate. He asked me to assist him with his photography equipment while shooting at the museum. He was shooting the large dinosaur by the main entrance. After our trip, we began dating and today we have been married for over 50 years. We bring our...

The Yellow Line

The Yellow Line

by Julia Matthews

1960s

School busses are a constant at the ROM. In addition to the coach styling, notice the sign over the front doors. It depicts a man with a magnifying glass and a big question mark to advertise the special exhibition "Search and Research". This show called attention to the work of ROM...

New technology

New technology

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

There are many celebrations for the 50th anniversary. The new Information Office prepares a photo album for the American Association of Museums Annual Meetings and it provides some interesting glimpses of the work of the ROM midway through the first century.

A Student Remembers Teachers from the 1940's

A Student Remembers Teachers from the 1940's

by Penny Welch

1940s

Celebrating the ROM’s 100th anniversary brings to mind many memories of my time spent at the Museum in the 1940’s. I was a student at the University of Toronto, Fine Art 4T4, and many of our lectures took place at the ROM. On the train going to Toronto I met Syd Keyes, who was in the first...

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.

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,...

Scary Mummy

Scary Mummy

by Shirley Fowley

1940s

About 1946, when I was 2 years old, my Grandparents were babysitting me in Toronto while my mother was expecting a baby. My Granddad took me to the ROM for the first time. Now, I know current theory holds that children don't remember things earlier than age 3 or 4, But, I assure you, I am an...