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...

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

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1910s

One day, Currelly was showing a distinguished visitor around at the end of the day. Thus he missed another caller, who left a card. Seeing the name of George Crofts on that card, Currelly tracked him to the King Edward Hotel.  He told this man, whose reputation as a collector of Chinese...

A ROM love story

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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...

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...

Honey bees

Honey bees

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2010s

I have been volunteering for eight years and one of the reasons I am still giving my time is the honey bees. They are so cute and all the visitors just love hearing all about them. I learn something new about them every time I'm here. The people in biodiversity are great too. Happy 100th,...

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...

McLuhan and the ROM

McLuhan and the ROM

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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.

Bookends

Bookends

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1990s

A quarter of a century after leaving the ROM, I realised a dream that began soon after I arrived there. It was to publish at last the beautiful and informative book the Museum's stupendous Chinese collection deserves. In 1990 or thereabouts, I approached the staff of the Far Eastern Department...

Fifty Years Ago...

Fifty Years Ago...

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1970s

Fifty years ago I was thirteen years old. My head was filled with the mystery of the pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies. In a letter to the ROM Personnel Department, I offered my services to assist on a summer dig in Egypt. Helen Downie replied that I was too young to represent the Museum abroad....

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.