Stories

"He's looking at rocks"

"He's looking at rocks"

by Gary Layng

1960s

So my parents took their young son to the ROM for some education and entertainment. Being as I was about 5 at the time, I quickly wore Mom out. She sat on a bench in the rotunda waiting for Dad and me to finish in the gemmology exhibit. Dad comes out - alone - and slumps next to her in exhaustion....

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.

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.

Charlie and Fido

Charlie and Fido

by Helen Lovekin

1960s

In the 1960s my father was seconded to the ROM from the Toronto Board of Education and the immediate effect of this career move for me was access to the Royal Ontario Museum after closing hours. I had a tremendous sense of privilege and insider knowledge when my mother and I picked my father up at...

Just a speck of dust?

Just a speck of dust?

by Mark McAlister

1960s

A subtle feeling of anxiety crept over me every time I passed by that large globe in the Geology gallery. The Earth was described as a mere speck of dust, and I felt cold and alone. Somehow, this experience was a seed for new feelings of veneration that developed as I grew older. These feelings...

Unexpected Lesson

by David Wilmot

1950s

The ROM tour had come to an end. My grade seven classmates and I descended to the lower level to collect our winter coats and galoshes. At the bottom of the stairs, I saw a skull, sitting rather haphazardly on a small stand in the hallway. On one side of the skull was a hole, neatly cut about...

Family tradition

Family tradition

by James Hinnecke

1960s

My parents had a defined set of family activities that we would do together. One of these was visiting the Royal Ontario Museum. We used to go at least annually by subway -- taking the subway was a novel experience in itself for kids who seldom left suburbia. In those days many exhibits were kept...

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...

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.

Masks

Masks

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

The opening gala for the 1959 exhibition "Masks: the Many Faces of Man" was great fun. Museum design staff provided some spectacular examples, but the guests rose to the occasion as well.