Stories

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...

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.

A Special Place

by Judy Knox

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...

William Swinton, Director, 1962 - 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962 - 1965

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

William Elgin Swinton is appointed Director.  Having retired from the British Museum of Natural History and come to Toronto to be head of the ROM ‘s Life Sciences Division, he is both a scholar and a populariser, especially of dinosaurs. He uses television broadcasts to call attention to the...

Free Rein

Free Rein

by Meg Beckel

1960s

My first experience with the ROM was in the mid 60’s when my brother and I participated in the Saturday Morning Club.  What is interesting is I have no recollection of adults being part of our experience.  I remember having free rein of the museum galleries and it being simply great.  Now .. I...

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...

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,...

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...

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,...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

This story comes from Elvira Hamilton, who joined the ROM in 1913 and was a staff member for 48 years. " I well remember the night the bells didn't ring throughout the Museum. This was the responsibility of the guard on duty. I don't recall his name but he had a physique that would...