Stories

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1910s

The ROM is fortunate that Sir Edmund Walker believed in a museum for Toronto that would be both academic and public. He was able to gather all the stakeholders together so that the initial funding would be 50:50 government and university. As President of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, as well as...

A Wonderful Gift

A Wonderful Gift

by Julia Matthews

1990s

Herman Hertzog Levy leaves $15 million for the purchase of Chinese bronzes, jades, ceramics, and sculpture. He has already donated many marvellous objects from his own collections. One interesting proviso is that the funds must be spent within 5 years, and so the curators he trusted are able to bid...

Canadiana Building

Canadiana Building

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Sigmund Samuel, who has been an important donor as well as a collector in his own right, pays for a building to house the fine and decorative art and rare books that he has donated, as well as the provincial archives. This building remains as a second ROM location until very recently and shows up...

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2000s

Hilary Weston leads the fundraising campaign, which will restore the heritage architecture and build "the crystal". She announces a gift of $30 million from Michael Lee Chin, the largest gift to a museum in Canadian history.

Architect Chosen

Architect Chosen

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2000s

Daniel Libeskind is announced as the architect for the project, following an international search. He sketches (and submits)  his idea on napkins from the ROM's restaurant. William Thorsell talks about the process.

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

by Julia Matthews

1990s

This assorted group came from many departments but the at the core were fast-learning librarians and library technicians. No one's job description mentioned the web: it was a volunteer effort. The ROM was a very early adaptor among museums. From the vantage point of twenty years later, it...

Charlie and Fido

Charlie and Fido

by Helen Lovekin

1960s

In the 1960s my father was seconded to the ROM from the Toronto Board of Education and the immediate effect of this career move for me was access to the Royal Ontario Museum after closing hours. I had a tremendous sense of privilege and insider knowledge when my mother and I picked my father up at...

My Father's Home

My Father's Home

by Mary Hofstetter

1950s

My father, C. H. Douglas Clarke, was a naturalist who studied forestry and wildlife biology at U of T in the 30s and went on to a distinguished career as a researcher, administrator and writer in the field of wildlife management. He always told me that when he first came to U of T as an...

My Brilliant Career

by Robert Taylor

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...

The Leonardo Syndrome

The Leonardo Syndrome

by David Barr

2010s

David Barr, who held curatorial and managerial positions at the ROM, was always an early adaptor. Recently, he enrolled in a MOOC and this is his first assignment: to create a digital object. All the apps and programs he used are licensed from Creative Commons.