Stories

Run for the ROM

Run for the ROM

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1980s

Staff initiated 24 hour relay run to raise $83,000 for the ROM's 70th birthday.  A favourite stop for the athletes was the ROM BBQ which kept them fueled throughout the day (and night). The Run was reinstated in 2012.

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,...

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...

The ROM Teacher's Son

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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."

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

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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...

A Family Heirloom

A Family Heirloom

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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...

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...

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...

Friends! Registrars! Hand me that ear!

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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...

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.