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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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 First Visit!!!

My First Visit!!!

by Gary Skelton

1960s

The year was 1961, I was 10 and in grade 5 (or 6?). At that time our public school, Highview, in Hamilton, had a wonderful man for a Principal, Mr. Howard. This man would, over a period of a few months, load 5 or 6 kids into his brand new 1961 Thunderbird on a Saturday morning, and take us all to...

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...

Hot Potato Dance

by Peter Marsh

1960s

Victoria University at the University of Toronto is just across the street from the ROM on Charles. My university days were spent there in first year Art and Archeology. One would think lectures would be held at the university, but no, lectures were held everywhere but. Archeology lectures were...