Stories

James Cruise, Director 1975 - 85

James Cruise, Director 1975 - 85

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1970s

James Cruise is appointed Director.  A botanist, he has been recruited from the University of Toronto. For the next decade, he oversees physical expansion and a new mission that is captioned “Meaningful Survival”. Almost immediately, the dream must be revised, as the provincial government...

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...

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...

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...

What Curators Do

What Curators Do

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Brian Musslewhite joined the ROM as a young man. One of his first tasks was to keep the period rooms clean. They were not glassed in as they are today and there was always debris. The Victorian Room featured a beagle - one of our collection of pets donated by Toronto families - and people...

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...

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...

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...