Stories

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...

Another Chronometer Bites the Dust

by Peter Fenton

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...

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".

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.

Ruth Home

by Kate Zankowicz

1930s

Ruth M. Home developed the education department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1928-1945. She was an important figure in the history of the museum, and more broadly, in the history of museum-based education in the province. She developed programming that was geared towards what were then...

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...

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...

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 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...

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.