Stories

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

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1990s

Louise Hawley Stone leaves a $45 million trust fund to support the purchase of artifacts and specimens and to support museum publications.

Worlds to Explore

Worlds to Explore

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1990s

This assorted group came from many departments but the at the core were fast-learning librarians and library technicians. No one's job description mentioned the web: it was a volunteer effort. The ROM was a very early adaptor among museums. From the vantage point of twenty years later, it...

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

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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...

A Bear Story

A Bear Story

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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 and...

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...

Strikes

Strikes

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1980s

Two of the ROM's unions were on strike for 6 weeks.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Groundbreaking Ceremony

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2000s

At the groundbreaking for the crystal, Hilary Weston and Michael Lee Chin get to drive the shovel.

Free Rein

Free Rein

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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...

First ROM Employee

First ROM Employee

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1900s

Charles Trick Currelly is appointed a collector for the University of Toronto at $500/year salary. He is working on excavations in Egypt and when back in Toronto, he arranges to display some of the material collected so that the people he is cultivating will be infected with enthusiasm and write...

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962- 1965

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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...