Stories

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

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1950s

Winifred (Friedl) Needler joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1935 as a draughtsman-cataloguer.  She took a year's leave to study Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology, along with Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics) at Yale, which study she continued upon return to the ROM under the...

Word Gets Around

Word Gets Around

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2010s

  Our front desk staff are both welcoming and long-serving. Estrella Trojman recalls that once some Argentinian visitors came up to her. “Our friends in Argentina told us to go to the ROM when we were in Toronto and ask for Estrella, who speaks Spanish”.

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

Hilary Weston Leads Campaign

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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.

ROM's Champion

ROM's Champion

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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...

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

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1970s

In July 1977, the ROM’s Discovery Room opened and was billed as a “mini-museum for the blind.” It was called the first gallery of its kind in Canada, a learning environment that emphasized hands-on engagement with original objects and specimens. Visitors crossing the threshold of the gallery...

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Groundbreaking Ceremony

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2000s

At the groundbreaking for the crystal, Hilary Weston and Michael Lee Chin get to drive the shovel.

Volunteer Fun

Volunteer Fun

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2000s

I used to work as a volunteer in the ROM's Hands On Biodiversity Gallery in the early 2000s. I always loved coming to the Gallery and seeing the honey bees busily working away in their hive. I also greatly enjoyed working with the artifacts in the Gallery and educating visitors about nature...

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

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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...

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

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1980s

The founders of this new initiative had in mind exhibits of photography, but the mandate evolved. Shows were mounted once a year. One early show depicted and analysed teenage tribes. Over the years, the mission has grown to encompass innovative exhibits and public events tackling living societies...

A Special Place

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1930s

I've always considered the Royal Ontario Museum a "home away from home". When I was very young in the 1930's, my uncle, Eric McDougall, who was an assistant in the "stuffed animal" (as I knew it then) gallery on the third floor, would bring me there each year to watch...