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...

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...

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,...

The Bishop White Committee

The Bishop White Committee

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Louise Hawley Stone founds the Bishop White Committee, which still exists. It was the prototype for "Friends of ...." various departments. Every year there is a festive banquet (a few teacups are on view here) and an inspiring speaker. This is just one of Mrs. Stone's many...

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...

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...

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.

The Beardmore Relics

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

The ROM purchases several artifacts that had been found in what is now Thunder Bay. They were "found" again in Beardmore and caused much speculation about Norse penetration into North America. Today, you can see the sword with other armour on display. The story is well told at...

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

by Paul McElcheran

1960s

I was a member of the TJFNC through the '60s. Our meetings took place in the theatre and spread out from there to the unexplored back rooms that contained the really good stuff. I was in the herpetology and ichthyology group so we saw a lot of specimens in formaldehyde, but nothing was more...

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.