Stories

The Consummate Collector from Guyana

by Burton Lim

1970s

About 15 years ago, I got a phone call from the public entrance of the ROM. “Mr. Courtman from Guyana would like to meet somebody from mammalogy,” said the admissions staff at the front desk. I was immediately intrigued by this surprise visitor, if he was who I thought he was. David Courtman...

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Theodore Heinrich is appointed Director, the first for a single ROM. He has come from New York and is a novelty in Toronto the Good.  A new era begins with a flurry of restructuring. Salaries are studied. When the subway is being built (in ’59), there is restricted access but the stop gets a...

Archaeologists Then and Now

Archaeologists Then and Now

by Peter L. Storck

2010s

Museums are known for the things inside them – Egyptian mummies, dinosaur fossils,  Greek and Roman marble statues, ‘stuffed’ animals and, my favorite from the Field Museum in Chicago, two adult Neanderthals standing outside a cave, so life-like I stood frozen in awe, worried what their...

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.

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...

Margaret MacLean, Educator

Margaret MacLean, Educator

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1910s

Margaret MacLean is appointed guide to the collections. Though well-educated, she has to satisfy each Director that she is competent to guide people through his galleries and his approval must be sent in writing to Board.  She has the idea of holding story time for children an hour earlier than...

Fifty Years Ago ...

Fifty Years Ago ...

by Bob McCarroll

1970s

Fifty years ago I was thirteen years old. My head was filled with the mystery of the pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies. In a letter to the ROM Personnel Department, I offered my services to assist on a summer dig in Egypt. Helen Downie replied that I was too young to represent the Museum abroad....

Frogs of Nogies Creek

Frogs of Nogies Creek

by Dave Ireland

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...

Run for the ROM

Run for the ROM

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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.

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

by Arthur Smith

1990s

One of my favourite memories of working on the Reference Desk in the ROM Library is the day a ROM researcher came to the Library looking for a specific journal article that could not be located in Toronto. It looked as if we were going to have to request an InterLibrary Loan from the United States,...