Stories

Egyptian Earrings

Egyptian Earrings

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1970s

When I was ten, I was a member of the ROM's Saturday Morning Club. I had recently had my ears pierced for my tenth birthday, which was a pretty big deal at the time. Our group was looking at a display of Egyptian jewelry when the leader asked if anyone had pierced ears. My hand shot up. She...

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.

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...

Keaton Smith's ROM Inspiration

Keaton Smith's ROM Inspiration

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2010s

Do you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at the Royal Ontario Museum? In February 2012, my family and I were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum by one of the paleontologists who works there. Our guide showed us two of the labs in which he worked, both contained countless fossils....

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...

Construction Begins

Construction Begins

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1970s

Admission is $1.50. The renovation begins with the demolition of exhibition hall (and obliteration of any parking spaces). In its place is to be a 9 floor curatorial centre with offices, labs, collections storage, and a purpose built library. It is decided to close the museum for 13 months.

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 Beardmore Relics

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1930s

The ROM purchases several artifacts that had been found in what is now Thunder Bay. They were "found" again in Beardmore and caused much speculation about Norse penetration into North America. Today, you can see the sword with other armour on display. The story is well told at...

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

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1950s

Theodore Heinrich is appointed Director, the first for a single ROM. He has come from New York and is a novelty in Toronto the Good.  A new era begins with a flurry of restructuring. Salaries are studied. When the subway is being built (in ’59), there is restricted access but the stop gets a...

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...