Stories

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

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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...

A "ReCollection" of the Collections

A "ReCollection" of the Collections

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1970s

In response to the question in ROM Magazine’s Winter 2013/2014 issue (page 14) regarding whether anyone took Peter C. Swann’s advice to preserve their copies of the bulletin: Yes, I did. I have a bound set of Rotunda, with issues from 1968 to 1980. As the artist who designed the magazine, I not...

What Curators Do

What Curators Do

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1960s

Brian Musslewhite joined the ROM as a young man. One of his first tasks was to keep the period rooms clean. They were not glassed in as they are today and there was always debris. The Victorian Room featured a beagle- one of our collection of pets donated by Toronto families- and people frequently...

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

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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...

McLuhan and the ROM

McLuhan and the ROM

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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.

Another Chronometer Bites the Dust

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1980s

It was late on a Friday in my first summer here when my coworker and I found ourselves with some spare time on our hands. We stuffed a labcoat and made a fairly lifelike torso. To this we added a pair of stuffed workpants and hung both from a coat rack in the lab, adding a stuffed sample bag for a...

A Technician's Life

A Technician's Life

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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   My...

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

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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...

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

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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".

Early Group Photo

Early Group Photo

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1910s

The guards had to dust the displays before opening the museums. Some of the men did double duty because they were skilled glaziers and fine carpenters. All we know of Miss Hand was that she wrote a letter asking to be allowed a lunch break. I am grateful to whoever had the idea of recording this...