Stories

My Brilliant Career

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1950s

Robert Taylor and  the ROM My first contact with the ROM was in 1948 when our grade 4 class from Coleman Avenue School took the Bloor streetcar along the Danforth to Avenue Road and across to the museum.  We were in awe of the magnitude of the building itself as we trundled up the concrete steps...

The View from 'Home'

The View from 'Home'

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1960s

ROM was one of my favorite haunts growing up in the '60's. Dad was executive manager of the Park Plaza Hotel across the street, and we lived on the 11th floor of the south wing. The rich green of ROM's copper roof dominated our view every time we looked out our windows. It felt like...

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...

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...

A History of Ghosts

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2000s

I have fond memories of the time that Dan Aykroyd and his father Peter appeared at the ROM in October 2009 for a lecture and signing for Peter Aykroyd's book A History of Ghosts. Particularly memorable was the introduction by the ROM staff member, who recounted her own ghostly encounter at the...

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

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1990s

One of my favourite memories of working on the Reference Desk in the ROM Library is the day a ROM researcher came to the Library looking for a specific journal article that could not be located in Toronto. It looked as if we were going to have to request an InterLibrary Loan from the United States,...

Fifty Years Ago...

Fifty Years Ago...

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1970s

Fifty years ago I was thirteen years old. My head was filled with the mystery of the pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies. In a letter to the ROM Personnel Department, I offered my services to assist on a summer dig in Egypt. Helen Downie replied that I was too young to represent the Museum abroad....

The Yellow Line

The Yellow Line

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1960s

School busses are a constant at the ROM. In addition to the coach styling, notice the sign over the front doors. It depicts a man with a magnifying glass and a big question mark to advertise the special exhibition "Search and Research". This show called attention to the work of ROM...

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...

The snake

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1990s

Some years ago, I was taking part in a ROM programme called (I think) My Favourite Object. Members of the curatorial staff brought their favourite object to what was the Chinese sculpture Atrium and placed it on a table for members of the public to look at and inquire as to why it was a favourite...