Stories

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

by Arthur Smith

1990s

One of my favourite memories of working on the Reference Desk in the ROM Library is the day a ROM researcher came to the Library looking for a specific journal article that could not be located in Toronto. It looked as if we were going to have to request an InterLibrary Loan from the United States,...

Friends! Registrars! Hand me that ear!

by Beth Watkins

1990s

While a student in the University of Toronto's Museum Studies Master's program in 1996-8, I had an internship in the West Asian collections with Bill Pratt, assisting him with an inventory of the Egyptology collections. We took turns with tasks, one of us at a laptop - and it must have...

The ROM Teacher's Son

by Geri Durbin

1990s

I'm a teacher in education and programs at the Royal Ontario Museum. When my son was in the first grade, he told his teacher, "Life is not fair because I have to go to school while my mom gets to go to the ROM every day."

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

The Planetarium closes with layoffs. There is a public outcry, but attendance has been falling and the equipment is 25 years old. The Director speaks about it as a "low point".

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

by Dale Calder

1990s

  Research at the Royal Ontario Museum over the decades has taken its staff around the world, from east to west, from north to south, and from mountain top to deep sea. During my career as a curator of invertebrate zoology at the ROM, my most extraordinary field trip involved two dives into the...

Bookends

Bookends

by Ian Montagnes

1990s

A quarter of a century after leaving the ROM, I realised a dream that began soon after I arrived there. It was to publish at last the beautiful and informative book the Museum's stupendous Chinese collection deserves. In 1990 or thereabouts, I approached the staff of the Far Eastern Department...

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

by Tony Hanik

1980s

The Curatorial Centre was built with a high level of security in mind. The stairways to each floor were locked off daily at 6 pm and subsequent access was only available by pass keys for the elevator. This meant that each week day a security officer would unlock the stairway doors from top to...

Things That Cough in the Night

by Aron Hacker

1990s

After the Planetarium layoffs, some staff found other positions in the ROM. One woman who had been a greeter became a Security Officer. She had to do the lonely midnight shift, making the rounds in a dark and empty museum. One night I got a terrified call: “I think there’s someone in the...

The snake

by Sara Irwin

1990s

Some years ago, I was taking part in a ROM programme called ( I think) My Favourite Object. Members of the curatorial staff brought their favourite object to what was the Chinese sculpture Atrium and placed it on a table for members of the public to look at and inquire as to why it was a favourite...

A Family Heirloom

A Family Heirloom

by Frank Petersen

1980s

As a young lad, I received a family heirloom from my mother.  It was a smooth stone tool, greenish in colour, that looked like some sort of chisel.  My mother told me that my grandfather had dug the item up while turning over the soil in the vegetable garden behind the family home in Husum, in...