Stories

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

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1960s

[Chief Mineralogist Dr. Vic] Meen was in Teheran when an unexpected visitor appeared at my office door in October 1964. He seemed inconsequential: a short, elderly man in a grey overcoat. I was alone in the room and on the phone with Dr Swinton, who was at home with a cold. Sharon, my secretary,...

The ROM's Prize Bulldog

The ROM's Prize Bulldog

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1930s

Most of our domestic dogs came from Toronto families, but Bungy had a different background. (See also "Curator's Work")

Lions on the Move (Again!)

Lions on the Move (Again!)

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2000s

Demolition of the Terrace Galleries requires that the lions move to the Queen's Park frontage, where they may be seen today.

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...

My Brilliant Career

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1950s

Robert Taylor and  the ROM My first contact with the ROM was in 1948 when our grade 4 class from Coleman Avenue School took the Bloor streetcar along the Danforth to Avenue Road and across to the museum.  We were in awe of the magnitude of the building itself as we trundled up the concrete steps...

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...

A "ReCollection" of the Collections

A "ReCollection" of the Collections

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1970s

In response to the question in ROM Magazine’s Winter 2013/2014 issue (page 14) regarding whether anyone took Peter C. Swann’s advice to preserve their copies of the bulletin: Yes, I did. I have a bound set of Rotunda, with issues from 1968 to 1980. As the artist who designed the magazine, I not...

Ontario Lottery to Fund Expansion

Ontario Lottery to Fund Expansion

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1970s

One of the first new Ontario Lottery draws is held in the ROM to assist with the funds needed for expansion. $10m is to be matched by private fundraising. Some Board Members oppose the use of funds gained by a lottery. (We don't have pictures of the ROM draw, but here's a nostalgia trip.)...

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...

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

A Field Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

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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...