Stories

Formative Moments

by Dave Barr

1950s

It was on a solo visit to the Royal Ontario Museum as a high school student. I had been there on a class visit in public school, but by now I had become fascinated by the world of insects, their diversity, their evolution. So I had a specific interest. I was standing in the vast old,...

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

by Ian Montagnes

1960s

[Chief Mineralogist Dr. Vic] Meen was in Teheran when an unexpected visitor appeared at my office door in October 1964. He seemed inconsequential: a short, elderly man in a grey overcoat. I was alone in the room and on the phone with Dr Swinton, who was at home with a cold. Sharon, my secretary,...

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

Peter Swann, Director, 1966-72

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Peter Swann is announced as the next Director. In 1966, he tackles the space issue first. The ROM must expand or choke to death.

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

McLuhan and the ROM

McLuhan and the ROM

by Lindsay Sharp

1960s

Lindsay Sharp tells a Marshall McLuhan story. See also the story "New Technology". He doesn't mention by name Harley Parker, head of design and a great collaborator with McLuhan, but they scandalised a museum convention with their ideas.

Dawn of DMV

Dawn of DMV

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Museum Volunteers committee is started, soon becoming the Department of Museum Volunteers. Over the years since, it has been a crucial force in fundraising and programming. For a long time, they were predominantly women but times have changed! Watch the video for a capsule history of the...

The ROM's Prize Bulldog

The ROM's Prize Bulldog

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

Most of our domestic dogs came from Toronto families, but Bungy had a different background. (See also "Curator's Work")

New technology

New technology

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

There are many celebrations for the 50th anniversary. The new Information Office prepares a photo album for the American Association of Museums Annual Meetings and it provides some interesting glimpses of the work of the ROM midway through the first century.

Gayle's Story

Gayle's Story

by Gayle Gibson

1950s

When I was a girl in Grade School, my parents allowed me to take the bus and streetcar, by myself, down to the Museum every Sunday afternoon. I guess the world seemed a safer place in those days.  My first visit had been with my Brownie troop, little girls marching up and down the grand stairway,...

ROM Murals Created

ROM Murals Created

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1940s

Sylvia Hahn, an artist on staff, completed four murals in what was then the Armour Court. Displays of armour were a popular museum feature. Charles Currelly, Director of the ROM of Archaeology,  thought that armour was an important resource for teaching about history and craftsmanship. Keeping...