Stories

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...

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...

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 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...

Grade 5 at the ROM

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1980s

In early 1988 my grade 5 gifted class took advantage of an amazing opportunity: we spent every Wednesday for six weeks at the ROM. Each visit was dedicated to a specific theme. One visit was all about ancient Egypt and another was about Canadian wildlife. Those school trips were the beginning of my...

Amazing Museum

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1980s

The first time I visited the ROM from my home in New York State, I was awed by the building, the grand entrance off Queens Park Circle. I remember the beautiful visitors' hall and reception desk, but the exhibitions were incredible! I fell in love with the dinosaur exhibit and went back to...

The Consummate Collector from Guyana

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1970s

About 15 years ago, I got a phone call from the public entrance of the ROM. “Mr. Courtman from Guyana would like to meet somebody from mammalogy,” said the admissions staff at the front desk. I was immediately intrigued by this surprise visitor, if he was who I thought he was. David Courtman...