Stories

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."

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

by Tony Hanik

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...

Three ROM Generations

by Anna Chyrsky-Harapa

2010s

We come from hard-working immigrant roots. Schooled in both Ukrainian and English schools, my first outing from school to a downtown location was to the ROM. Although my parents, who had emigrated after the war from Ukraine, had never been to the museum, they were as excited about my school trip as...

Meeting the Makers of Bollywood Art

Meeting the Makers of Bollywood Art

by Alexandra McCarter

2010s

When working in a museum, we do not often get the chance to meet the people who created the pieces in the collection or see these objects being made. Almost three years ago, however, I was lucky that I was asked to act as the ROM’s host for Suresh and Sushant Sandal, two Bollywood billboard...

New Director

New Director

by Julia Matthews

1970s

James Cruise is appointed Director.  For the next decade, he oversees physical expansion and a new mission that is captioned “Meaningful Survival”. Almost immediately, such dreams are shattered as the provincial governments cuts expansion funding and restricts the operating budget.

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.

Dawn of DMV

Dawn of DMV

by Julia Matthews

1950s

Museum Volunteers committee is started, soon becoming the Department of Museum Volunteers. Over the years since, it has been a crucial force in fundraising and programming. For a long time, they were predominantly women but times have changed!

The Bishop White Committee

The Bishop White Committee

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Louise Hawley Stone founds the Bishop White Committee, which still exists. It was the prototype for "Friends of ...." various departments. Every year there is a festive banquet (a few teacups are on view here) and an inspiring speaker. This is just one of Mrs. Stone's many...

Word Gets Around

Word Gets Around

by Estrella Trojman

2010s

  Our front desk staff are both welcoming and long-serving. Estrella Trojman recalls that once some Argentinian visitors came up to her. “Our friends in Argentina told us to go to the ROM when we were in Toronto and ask for Estrella, who speaks Spanish”.

Bookends

Bookends

by Ian Montagnes

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...