Stories

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

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1980s

The Curatorial Centre was built with a high level of security in mind. The stairways to each floor were locked off daily at 6 pm and subsequent access was only available by pass keys for the elevator. This meant that each week day a security officer would unlock the stairway doors from top to...

Bookends

Bookends

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1990s

A quarter of a century after leaving the ROM, I realised a dream that began soon after I arrived there. It was to publish at last the beautiful and informative book the Museum's stupendous Chinese collection deserves. In 1990 or thereabouts, I approached the staff of the Far Eastern Department...

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

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1910s

One day, Currelly was showing a distinguished visitor around at the end of the day. Thus he missed another caller, who left a card. Seeing the name of George Crofts on that card, Currelly tracked him to the King Edward Hotel.  He told this man, whose reputation as a collector of Chinese...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

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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...

Margaret MacLean, Educator

Margaret MacLean, Educator

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1910s

Margaret MacLean is appointed guide to the collections. Though well-educated, she has to satisfy each Director that she is competent to guide people through his galleries and his approval must be sent in writing to Board.  She has the idea of holding story time for children an hour earlier than...

Recollections of the Conservation Department

Recollections of the Conservation Department

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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...

If the ROM Were a Book....

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2010s

If I were to write a book about the ROM I'd name it "Something Different Every Time."

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

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1990s

One of my favourite memories of working on the Reference Desk in the ROM Library is the day a ROM researcher came to the Library looking for a specific journal article that could not be located in Toronto. It looked as if we were going to have to request an InterLibrary Loan from the United States,...

A Special Place

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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 watch...

Honey bees

Honey bees

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2010s

I have been volunteering for eight years and one of the reasons I am still giving my time is the honey bees. They are so cute and all the visitors just love hearing all about them. I learn something new about them every time I'm here. The people in biodiversity are great too. Happy 100th,...