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...

Planetarium Closes

Planetarium Closes

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

The Planetarium closes with layoffs. There is a public outcry, but attendance has been falling and the equipment is 25 years old. The Director speaks about it as a "low point".

Campaign for Gallery Development

Campaign for Gallery Development

by Julia Matthews

1980s

Serious fundraising for galleries begins with a target of $40 million. The Royal Terrace Club is established for donors. (It became the Royal Patrons' Circle in 1999)

Reflecting on "Into the heart of Africa"

Reflecting on "Into the heart of Africa"

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1980s

Dan Rahimi revisits the exhibition, reflects on the major changes it brought about, and explains what the ROM is doing this year to balance the scales. The full catalogue is accessible from this site (see the story "Into the Heart of Africa".)

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

Life in the Biodiversity Gallery

by Barbara Houghton

1980s

ROM changed my life by giving me the opportunity to volunteer at the Biodiversity Gallery. A dream come true. I got to work and meet some very talented and dedicated people and my life was made better for it. I was able to write articles for the Gallery's newsletter sharing adventures and...

Eternal Issues

Eternal Issues

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2010s

Janet Carding reflects on issues specific to the ROM, especially space and growth.

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

by Dale Calder

1990s

  Research at the Royal Ontario Museum over the decades has taken its staff around the world, from east to west, from north to south, and from mountain top to deep sea. During my career as a curator of invertebrate zoology at the ROM, my most extraordinary field trip involved two dives into the...

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...

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

"Largest Bequest to a Museum"

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

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

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

by Arthur Smith

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,...