Stories

My Brilliant Career

by Robert Taylor

1950s

Robert Taylor and  the ROM My first contact with the ROM was in 1948 when our grade 4 class from Coleman Avenue School took the Bloor streetcar along the Danforth to Avenue Road and across to the museum.  We were in awe of the magnitude of the building itself as we trundled up the concrete...

Dawn of DMV

Dawn of DMV

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

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.

New technology

New technology

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

There are many celebrations for the 50th anniversary. The new Information Office prepares a photo album for the American Association of Museums Annual Meetings and it provides some interesting glimpses of the work of the ROM midway through the first century.

A Special Place

by Judy Knox

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...

My First Visit!!!

My First Visit!!!

by Gary Skelton

1960s

The year was 1961, I was 10 and in grade 5 (or 6?). At that time our public school, Highview, in Hamilton, had a wonderful man for a Principal, Mr. Howard. This man would, over a period of a few months, load 5 or 6 kids into his brand new 1961 Thunderbird on a Saturday morning, and take us all to...

Museum and University Prepare to Divorce

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

The University of Toronto requests “a survey of the ROM in its relation to the University of Toronto, the schools of Ontario, and the public”. When the report is made, it recommends that there should be a separation from the University with a full time academic head.

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

The Beardmore Relics

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

The ROM purchases several artifacts that had been found in what is now Thunder Bay. They were "found" again in Beardmore and caused much speculation about Norse penetration into North America. Today, you can see the sword with other armour on display. The story is well told at...

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

by Paul McElcheran

1960s

I was a member of the TJFNC through the '60s. Our meetings took place in the theatre and spread out from there to the unexplored back rooms that contained the really good stuff. I was in the herpetology and ichthyology group so we saw a lot of specimens in formaldehyde, but nothing was more...