Stories

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".

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...

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...

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...

Word Gets Around

Word Gets Around

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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”.

Recollections of the Conservation Department

Recollections of the Conservation Department

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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...

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...

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...

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.

Ruth Home

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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...