Stories

A Technician's Life

A Technician's Life

by Brad Millen

2010s

Brad is one of those ROM staff that the visitor rarely sees, yet he is known to scientists around the world. Usually, he is two floors underground at his computer. He contributed this description of his work so that you can see how we are interconnected to our colleagues internationally. JM   ...

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

by Ian Montagnes

1960s

[Chief Mineralogist Dr. Vic] Meen was in Teheran when an unexpected visitor appeared at my office door in October 1964. He seemed inconsequential: a short, elderly man in a grey overcoat. I was alone in the room and on the phone with Dr Swinton, who was at home with a cold. Sharon, my secretary,...

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...

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...

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.

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."

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...

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.

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

by Kate Zankowicz

1970s

In July 1977, the ROM’s Discovery Room opened and was billed as a “mini-museum for the blind.” It was called the first gallery of its kind in Canada, a learning environment that emphasized hands-on engagement with original objects and specimens. Visitors crossing the threshold of the gallery...

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...