Stories

Things That Cough in the Night

by Aron Hacker

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...

Ethan Meets Jane

Ethan Meets Jane

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2010s

Ethan tells about a happy visit when he met someone he greatly admired.

Architect Chosen

Architect Chosen

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2000s

Daniel Libeskind is announced as the architect for the project, following an international search. He sketches (and submits)  his idea on napkins from the ROM's restaurant. William Thorsell talks about the process.

Bill 138:  A home for culture and science

Bill 138: A home for culture and science

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1900s

On April 16, 1912, Bill 138 formally establishing the ROM received Royal Assent to “provide a home for culture and science under the same academical roof”. Press coverage was slight owing to the sinking of the Titanic. There were to be five ROMs, each with a director. The Board of Trustees was...

Under Our Noses

Under Our Noses

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2000s

This is the story of how a new curator, David Evans, found the amazing barosaurus, which we named Gordo (for the curator, Gord Edmund, who had received it in the 60's). 

Rumours of Mr. Currelly

by Sally Tuck

1900s

Something that people might not know about the ROM is that today's Department of Museum Volunteers Boardroom used to be Mr. Currelly's office in 1914. He had a cot in his office and would often stay the night. Rumour also has it that, prior to the ROM's opening in 1914, he was...

A Prominent Woman

A Prominent Woman

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1910s

Mrs Warren was the only woman on the first Board of Trustees and she served for 40 years. When her husband died unexpectedly in 1909, she took over the running of his company. She was a founder of charitable institutions such as the Canadian Red Cross, which used her home on Wellesley St. as its...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1940s

J. H. Fleming dies. He has had office space at the ROM since the 20s, when he willed his ornithological collection to the Museum. It was then the largest and most comprehensive private collection of skins, mounts, eggs in North America, with a special focus on birds of paradise. With it came his...

First ROM Employee

First ROM Employee

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...