Stories

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...

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...

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...

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

The Toronto Junior Field Naturalist Club

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1960s

I was a member of the TJFNC through the '60s. Our meetings took place in the theatre and spread out from there to the unexplored back rooms that contained the really good stuff. I was in the herpetology and ichthyology group so we saw a lot of specimens in formaldehyde, but nothing was more...

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,...

Mr. Snuffleupagus

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1970s

My friend, artist, and teacher, Margaret Ann [Clark] Fecteau told me this story. It is both funny and tragic, and took place, I think, in the late 1970s. The ROM had at that time a gallery on the archaeological periods of Ontario before European contact. Among the dioramas was one depicting the...

A Student Remembers Teachers from the 1940's

A Student Remembers Teachers from the 1940's

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1940s

Celebrating the ROM’s 100th anniversary brings to mind many memories of my time spent at the Museum in the 1940’s. I was a student at the University of Toronto, Fine Art 4T4, and many of our lectures took place at the ROM. On the train going to Toronto I met Syd Keyes, who was in the first...

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...

Meeting the Makers of Bollywood Art

Meeting the Makers of Bollywood Art

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2010s

When working in a museum, we do not often get the chance to meet the people who created the pieces in the collection or see these objects being made. Almost three years ago, however, I was lucky that I was asked to act as the ROM’s host for Suresh and Sushant Sandal, two Bollywood billboard...

First date

First date

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2000s

I have been a ROM member since 2009 and an enthusiast since childhood. When visiting the ROM I spend most of my time at the kids biodiversity discovery area; when alone you will find me wandering the halls of natural history exhibits... and sometimes Egypt. I took Carrie on our first date to the...