Stories

Honey bees

Honey bees

by Karen Clumpus

2010s

I have been volunteering for eight years and one of the reasons I am still giving my time is the honey bees. They are so cute and all the visitors just love hearing all about them. I learn something new about them every time I'm here. The people in biodiversity are great too. Happy 100th,...

A Different Light during the Toronto Blackout

by Deepali Dewan

2000s

During the Summer of 2003, those of us in the Asian section of the Royal Ontario Museum hosted a special visitor from India: the leader of a school of Tibetan Buddhism, one of several schools from the mountainous region of the Himalayas. He was equal in status, if not celebrity, to the Dalai Lama,...

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...

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...

ROM Song Circle

ROM Song Circle

by Barbara Rice

2000s

The ROM Song Circle is a group of ROM staff members and their friends who meet about once a month to share their love of music. Everyone gets a turn to choose a song as we go around the circle. The group was started by Gene Wilburn around 1994. Some “circlers” play instruments (banjo, guitar,...

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...

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...

Recollections of the Conservation Department

Recollections of the Conservation Department

by Allison MacDuffee

1970s

For two summers, as a university student in Art History, I worked in the Conservation Department as an assistant to Susan Richardson. Essentially my job was typing. I typed treatment reports for each artifact that received expert care in the department. In those days, the reports were typed on card...

The Legacy of George - George Patrick Joseph Crofts and the Chinese Collections

The Legacy of George - George Patrick Joseph Crofts and the Chinese Collections

by Gary Newcombe

1920s

I first began tracing my family history in the 1970’s, when I was at University. In those days this was a relatively difficult, time consuming and expensive task, dependent on accessing paper records from around the world. I am in Perth, Western Australia. My father’s family (Newcombe) arrived...

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

by Josh Terry

2010s

In the summer of 2010, I spent a summer in the communications department as an intern. It was a very interesting time to be at the ROM, as the last-minute preparations were in full-swing for the Terracotta Warriors exhibition. Of course, much of Toronto was starting to enter a sort of lockdown,...