Stories

If the ROM Were a Book....

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2010s

If I were to write a book about the ROM I'd name it "Something Different Every Time."

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

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1910s

One day, Currelly was showing a distinguished visitor around at the end of the day. Thus he missed another caller, who left a card. Seeing the name of George Crofts on that card, Currelly tracked him to the King Edward Hotel.  He told this man, whose reputation as a collector of Chinese...

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

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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,...

A Fish Story

A Fish Story

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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.

Fear Factor

Fear Factor

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2010s

Bats, snakes, spiders… some of the most interesting things at the ROM take a little getting used to. I’ll never forget the visitor who came to the museum to address her chiroptophobia (fear of bats). Her courage was inspiring and my conversation with her was one of many rewarding experiences...

Bookends

Bookends

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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...

Frogs of Nogies Creek

Frogs of Nogies Creek

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2000s

My mum would take us to the ROM during March Break when we were kids growing up in Huntsville, but I hadn't returned since then- the early 80's. I had just started graduate work in ecology at Trent University, around 2000, and ended up with a supervisor interested in Bullfrogs from Nogies...

Honey bees

Honey bees

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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,...

Things That Cough in the Night

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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...

My Brilliant Career

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1950s

Robert Taylor and  the ROM My first contact with the ROM was in 1948 when our grade 4 class from Coleman Avenue School took the Bloor streetcar along the Danforth to Avenue Road and across to the museum.  We were in awe of the magnitude of the building itself as we trundled up the concrete steps...