Stories

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...

An Important Benefactor

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1990s

Louise Hawley Stone donates $2 million to endow a permanent curatorial position, a chair in Far Eastern Art named for her. (In 2013 there are 8 endowed curatorships)

A Fish Story

A Fish Story

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1980s

The ROM moved quickly when it was given a frozen coelacanth that had been caught live in April 1987. It was displayed in a glass-topped freezer. Once this species was thought to be extinct. Nowadays, you can watch a video of swimming fish in the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.

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...

William Thorsell, President and CEO 2000- 2010

William Thorsell, President and CEO 2000- 2010

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2000s

William Thorsell is appointed President and CEO. Soon follows the announcement of the most ambitious renovation yet. The Master Plan costing $200 million is called Renaissance ROM. Here he talks about his arrival at the ROM.

Early Group Photo

Early Group Photo

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1910s

The guards had to dust the displays before opening the museums. Some of the men did double duty because they were skilled glaziers and fine carpenters. All we know of Miss Hand was that she wrote a letter asking to be allowed a lunch break. I am grateful to whoever had the idea of recording this...

Things That Cough in the Night

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1990s

After the Planetarium layoffs, some staff found other positions in the ROM. One woman who had been a greeter became a Security Officer. She had to do the lonely midnight shift, making the rounds in a dark and empty museum. One night I got a terrified call: “I think there’s someone in the...

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

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1980s

The founders of this new initiative had in mind exhibits of photography, but the mandate evolved. Shows were mounted once a year. One early show depicted and analysed teenage tribes. Over the years, the mission has grown to encompass innovative exhibits and public events tackling living societies...

The Future of Museum Funding

The Future of Museum Funding

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2010s

One of Canada's most generous and energetic philanthropists, Hal Jackman ponders the situation for institutions like the ROM.

Frogs of Nogies Creek

Frogs of Nogies Creek

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2000s

My mum would take us to the ROM during March Break when we were kids growing up in Huntsville, but I hadn't returned since then- the early 80's. I had just started graduate work in ecology at Trent University, around 2000, and ended up with a supervisor interested in Bullfrogs from Nogies...