Stories

Volunteer Fun

Volunteer Fun

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2000s

I used to work as a volunteer in the ROM's Hands On Biodiversity Gallery in the early 2000s. I always loved coming to the Gallery and seeing the honey bees busily working away in their hive. I also greatly enjoyed working with the artifacts in the Gallery and educating visitors about nature...

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...

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...

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...

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...

A Special Place

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1930s

I've always considered the Royal Ontario Museum a "home away from home". When I was very young in the 1930's, my uncle, Eric McDougall, who was an assistant in the "stuffed animal" (as I knew it then) gallery on the third floor, would bring me there each year to watch...

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".

The Bishop White Committee

The Bishop White Committee

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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...

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.

Dawn of DMV

Dawn of DMV

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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! Watch the video for a capsule history of the...