Stories

If the ROM Were a Book....

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2010s

If I were to write a book about the ROM I'd name it "Something Different Every Time."

Early Group Photo

Early Group Photo

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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...

Margaret MacLean, Educator

Margaret MacLean, Educator

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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...

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...

Word Gets Around

Word Gets Around

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2010s

  Our front desk staff are both welcoming and long-serving. Estrella Trojman recalls that once some Argentinian visitors came up to her. “Our friends in Argentina told us to go to the ROM when we were in Toronto and ask for Estrella, who speaks Spanish”.

Archaeologists Then and Now

Archaeologists Then and Now

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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...

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...

The ROM Teacher's Son

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1990s

I'm a teacher in education and programs at the Royal Ontario Museum. When my son was in the first grade, he told his teacher, "Life is not fair because I have to go to school while my mom gets to go to the ROM every day."

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

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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,...

Three ROM Generations

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2010s

We come from hard-working immigrant roots. Schooled in both Ukrainian and English schools, my first outing from school to a downtown location was to the ROM. Although my parents, who had emigrated after the war from Ukraine, had never been to the museum, they were as excited about my school trip as...