Stories

A Fish Story

A Fish Story

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1980s

The ROM moved quickly when it was given a frozen coelacanth that had been caught live in April 1987. It was displayed in a glass-topped freezer. Once this species was thought to be extinct. Nowadays, you can watch a video of swimming fish in the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.

Vegetarian Dinosaur

Vegetarian Dinosaur

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2010s

Once while I was facilitating the Dino Dig in the Discovery Gallery I was discussing the Hadrosaur with two children. I asked them what a dinosaur with flat teeth would eat. The girl replied “people.” I explained that dinosaurs did not live at the same time that people lived. Then the boy said...

Things That Cough in the Night

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1990s

After the Planetarium layoffs, some staff found other positions in the ROM. One woman who had been a greeter became a Security Officer. She had to do the lonely midnight shift, making the rounds in a dark and empty museum. One night I got a terrified call: “I think there’s someone in the...

Another Chronometer Bites the Dust

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1980s

It was late on a Friday in my first summer here when my coworker and I found ourselves with some spare time on our hands. We stuffed a labcoat and made a fairly lifelike torso. To this we added a pair of stuffed workpants and hung both from a coat rack in the lab, adding a stuffed sample bag for a...

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

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1990s

The Planetarium closes with layoffs. There is a public outcry, but attendance has been falling and the equipment is 25 years old. The Director speaks about it as a "low point".

My History of Visiting the ROM

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1990s

I am still quite young (turning 32 this year), but I estimate that I have been going to the ROM for at least a quarter of the museum's existence, beginning with trips I made as a child in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I remember visiting areas, such as the bat cave, when they were still...

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...

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...

Record Attendance for 75th Anniversary

Record Attendance for 75th Anniversary

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1980s

1,080,637 people came through the doors this year. One event to celebrate was the publication of The Museum Makers by Lovat Dickson.

Bats We Know and Love

Bats We Know and Love

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1980s

Many things come and go in our lives--our clothes, our exercise routines, our favourite TV shows-- but the ROM will always be a part of my life. There were bursting bus school trips in the late 1960s and 1970s. There were lone trips in the early 1980s seeking an escape from an overwhelming...