Stories

A Fish Story

A Fish Story

by Julia Matthews

1980s

The ROM moved quickly when it was given a frozen coelacanth that had been caught live in April 1987. It was displayed in a glass-topped freezer. Once this species was thought to be extinct. Nowadays, you can watch a video of swimming fish in the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

by Barbara Houghton

1980s

ROM changed my life by giving me the opportunity to volunteer at the BioDiversity Gallery. A dream come true. I got to work and meet some very talented and dedicated people and my life was made better for it. I was able to write articles for the Gallery's newsletter sharing adventures and...

Run for the ROM

Run for the ROM

by Julia Matthews

1980s

Staff initiated 24 hour relay run to raise $83,000 for the ROM's 70th birthday.  A favourite stop for the athletes was the ROM BBQ which kept them fueled throughout the day (and night). The Run was reinstated in 2012.

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."