Stories

An Old Friend

An Old Friend

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1980s

I have always loved the Museum. I would spend every minute that I could there, sometimes doing my homework in the company of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs or dinosaurs. I loved everything about the museum. When I started working, one of the first things I did was purchase a lifetime membership to the...

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...

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...

Elephants in the Basement

Elephants in the Basement

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1990s

When my son was small enough to be carried in my arms for the day, I started taking him to the museum. He soon had his favourites. We'd linger at the Nile crocodile, the Maiasaur, the little piece of forest floor in the middle of the beetles-and-butterflies room, the desert changing from day...

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...

Nostalgia

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1990s

I remember my father taking me to the ROM once a month until I was 12. My father is a history buff and I was a very curious child. He wanted to share his knowledge and any moments he could with his youngest daughter. He remembers going there in the (I believe) 70's to see King Tut's...

My Father's Home

My Father's Home

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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...

Admission fees rise

Admission fees rise

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1990s

Admission fees jump to $8

Into the Heart of Africa

Into the Heart of Africa

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1980s

The exhibition opens in November with good attendance at the public programs. Early in the next year, protests begin and escalate. ROM changes the process by which exhibitions are proposed and approved. Full text of the catalogue may be found at...

School Outreach

School Outreach

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1950s

Classes for school children begin in 1933 and continue today.  Lillian Payne, the first teacher, paid for by the Toronto School Board, worked at the ROM for 21 years. Not only did the children come to the ROM- in the 20s, groups from northern Ontario came by train to visit- but also the ROM...