Stories

The Legacy of George - George Patrick Joseph Crofts and the Chinese Collections

The Legacy of George - George Patrick Joseph Crofts and the Chinese Collections

by Gary Newcombe

1920s

I first began tracing my family history in the 1970’s, when I was at University. In those days this was a relatively difficult, time consuming and expensive task, dependent on accessing paper records from around the world. I am in Perth, Western Australia. My father’s family (Newcombe) arrived...

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.

A Prominent Woman

A Prominent Woman

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1910s

Mrs Warren was the only woman on the first Board of Trustees and she served for 40 years. When her husband died unexpectedly in 1909, she took over the running of his company. She was a founder of charitable institutions such as the Canadian Red Cross, which used her home on Wellesley St. as its...

A Family Heirloom

A Family Heirloom

by Frank Petersen

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...

Early Group Photo

Early Group Photo

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

A ROM love story

by Sushima Naraine

2000s

My fiancée, Raj, and I met through mutual friends and immediately began getting to know each other. We found that biggest thing we had in common was our love for history, so naturally we thought to go to the ROM for our first date. We met at the front doors and he was nice enough to be a gentleman...

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

by Tony Hanik

1980s

The Curatorial Centre was built with a high level of security in mind. The stairways to each floor were locked off daily at 6 pm and subsequent access was only available by pass keys for the elevator. This meant that each week day a security officer would unlock the stairway doors from top to...

Ruth Home

by Kate Zankowicz

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...

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

by Josh Terry

2010s

In the summer of 2010, I spent a summer in the communications department as an intern. It was a very interesting time to be at the ROM, as the last-minute preparations were in full-swing for the Terracotta Warriors exhibition. Of course, much of Toronto was starting to enter a sort of lockdown,...

What Curators Do

What Curators Do

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Brian Musslewhite joined the ROM as a young man. One of his first tasks was to keep the period rooms clean. They were not glassed in as they are today and there was always debris. The Victorian Room featured a beagle - one of our collection of pets donated by Toronto families - and people...