Stories

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...

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.

What Curators Do

What Curators Do

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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 frequently...

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

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1990s

  Research at the Royal Ontario Museum over the decades has taken its staff around the world, from east to west, from north to south, and from mountain top to deep sea. During my career as a curator of invertebrate zoology at the ROM, my most extraordinary field trip involved two dives into the...

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...

Tactile Tours

Tactile Tours

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1960s

Two unnamed women are carefully running their fingers around the rim of a lion’s mouth. It’s a ceramic Wedgwood ornament from the nineteenth century. They are in a study room, presumably a behind-the-scenes curatorial space at the museum. A volunteer instructor stands behind them, watching...

My ROM Experience

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2010s

I'm in school for applied museum studies at Algonquin College, and I started my internship January 2014. I work in the Registration department dealing with copyright projects. I always wanted to be involved in the ROM and worked with my instructor to be able to fulfill that goal by being put...

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...

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...

A Different Light during the Toronto Blackout

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2000s

During the Summer of 2003, those of us in the Asian section of the Royal Ontario Museum hosted a special visitor from India: the leader of a school of Tibetan Buddhism, one of several schools from the mountainous region of the Himalayas. He was equal in status, if not celebrity, to the Dalai Lama,...