Stories

Recollections of the Conservation Department

Recollections of the Conservation Department

by Allison MacDuffee

1970s

For two summers, as a university student in Art History, I worked in the Conservation Department as an assistant to Susan Richardson. Essentially my job was typing. I typed treatment reports for each artifact that received expert care in the department. In those days, the reports were typed on card...

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

This is ROMA, one of two rescue cats who were responsible for rodent control during the 60s. The Museum photographer posed her in the studio. Gladys Wong, a cleaner, brought them from Woodbine Racetrack and fed them as part of her job. They hung out next to the security officers' room in the...

Fifty Years Ago ...

Fifty Years Ago ...

by Bob McCarroll

1970s

Fifty years ago I was thirteen years old. My head was filled with the mystery of the pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies. In a letter to the ROM Personnel Department, I offered my services to assist on a summer dig in Egypt. Helen Downie replied that I was too young to represent the Museum abroad....

A Bear Story

A Bear Story

by Dave Barr

1960s

  There is just one complete study skeleton of the huge Brown Bear ( Ursus arctos  - also known as the Grizzly or Kodiak bear) in the ROM's mammalogy collection. And I remember vividly when it arrived in 1965.   I was a summer student in the ROM's Department of Entomology...

The Consummate Collector from Guyana

by Burton Lim

1970s

About 15 years ago, I got a phone call from the public entrance of the ROM. “Mr. Courtman from Guyana would like to meet somebody from mammalogy,” said the admissions staff at the front desk. I was immediately intrigued by this surprise visitor, if he was who I thought he was. David Courtman...

Streamlining, Budget woes, Celebrating

Streamlining, Budget woes, Celebrating

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1980s

A major organisational change results in three streams: curatorial; education and communication; and administration and facilities. Finance Committee at Queen ‘s Park calls senior managers to explain cost overruns. The first 25 year service dinner is held and staff are presented with a lapel pin...

A "ReCollection" of the Collections

A "ReCollection" of the Collections

by Marie Hands

1970s

In response to the question in ROM Magazine’s Winter 2013/2014 issue (page 14) regarding whether anyone took Peter C. Swann’s advice to preserve their copies of the bulletin: Yes, I did. I have a bound set of Rotunda, with issues from 1968 to 1980. As the artist who designed the magazine, I not...

Another Chronometer Bites the Dust

by Peter Fenton

1980s

It was late on a Friday in my first summer here when my coworker and I found ourselves with some spare time on our hands. We stuffed a labcoat and made a fairly lifelike torso. To this we added a pair of stuffed workpants and hung both from a coat rack in the lab, adding a stuffed sample bag for a...

Accessible Galleries: The Discovery Room/Gallery

by Kate Zankowicz

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...

Walter Tovell, Director, 1973 -1975

Walter Tovell, Director, 1973 -1975

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1970s

Walter Tovell is appointed Director. He had been a curator in the Department of Geology who developed new galleries and was an enthusiastic leader of fieldtrips for kids and grownups. He published books and guides on the geology of Niagara Falls, the Niagara escarpment, and the Great Lakes. He...