Stories

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...

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...

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...

Who knew a museum was so much more!

by Rashmi Hegde

2000s

I moved to Canada from Bombay, India at the end of November 1999. When I applied to work here, I wasn't really sure if this was where I wanted to be. A part time administrative job, when I was looking for full time work in a new country? I was amazed to find within weeks, nay days, that a...

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."

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...

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".

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...

Undeceived

by George Hewson

1990s

  In 1992 there was a competition for Toronto teachers to be seconded to the ROM's Education Department. I made it to the final three, finished my interview, and went home to wait over the weekend for the decision. My wife rented a film so we could relax on Friday night. When 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...