Stories

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

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1970s

In July 1977, the ROM’s Discovery Room opened and was billed as a “mini-museum for the blind.” It was called the first gallery of its kind in Canada, a learning environment that emphasized hands-on engagement with original objects and specimens. Visitors crossing the threshold of the gallery...

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...

A Student's Perspective

A Student's Perspective

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1970s

Prof. Heinrich was at the ROM 1955-62. He taught one year, 1965-66, in Regina and went on to teach 15 years, 1966 until his death, at York University.  He taught me Museum Studies during my first year, 1975-76. It was not only a wonderfully wide-ranging, but a very valuable course. I often reflect...

Friends! Registrars! Hand me that ear!

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1990s

While a student in the University of Toronto's Museum Studies Master's program in 1996-8, I had an internship in the West Asian collections with Bill Pratt, assisting him with an inventory of the Egyptology collections. We took turns with tasks, one of us at a laptop- and it must have...

My Father's Home

My Father's Home

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1950s

My father, C. H. Douglas Clarke, was a naturalist who studied forestry and wildlife biology at U of T in the 30s and went on to a distinguished career as a researcher, administrator and writer in the field of wildlife management. He always told me that when he first came to U of T as an...

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...

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...

The ROM is "Ours"

The ROM is "Ours"

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2000s

For many years, the ROM was our second home. We seemed to be there almost every weekend. As each of our children were born, they were just put in the stroller and off we went. The ROM was a very comfortable place to be. Our toddlers could roam and wander; our babies had a comfortable nursing room...

A Technician's Life

A Technician's Life

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2010s

Brad is one of those ROM staff that the visitor rarely sees, yet he is known to scientists around the world. Usually, he is two floors underground at his computer. He contributed this description of his work so that you can see how we are interconnected to our colleagues internationally. JM   My...

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

Uncrating the Terracotta Warriors

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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,...