Stories

What Curators Do

What Curators Do

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

Brian Musslewhite joined the ROM as a young man. One of his first tasks was to keep the period rooms clean. They were not glassed in as they are today and there was always debris. The Victorian Room featured a beagle - one of our collection of pets donated by Toronto families - and people...

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

This is ROMA, one of two rescue cats who were responsible for rodent control during the 60s. The Museum photographer posed her in the studio. Gladys Wong, a cleaner, brought them from Woodbine Racetrack and fed them as part of her job. They hung out next to the security officers' room in the...

William Swinton, Director, 1962 - 1965

William Swinton, Director, 1962 - 1965

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

William Elgin Swinton is appointed Director.  Having retired from the British Museum of Natural History and come to Toronto to be head of the ROM ‘s Life Sciences Division, he is both a scholar and a populariser, especially of dinosaurs. He uses television broadcasts to call attention to the...

Undeceived

by George Hewson

1990s

  In 1992 there was a competition for Toronto teachers to be seconded to the ROM's Education Department. I made it to the final three, finished my interview, and went home to wait over the weekend for the decision. My wife rented a film so we could relax on Friday night. When the...

Fact? or Fiction?

Fact? or Fiction?

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

The launch of what has become a popular annual fundraising event. Curators enjoy lying and attendees are fascinated by the challenges they are given.  The proceeds from the first one go to support the web site.which has been launched without extra funding.

Centennial Focus

Centennial Focus

by ROM ReCollects Editor

2010s

Janet Carding describes what next year can mean to the role of the ROM in Toronto.

Moving In

Moving In

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1900s

Currelly moves into basement even before the roof is completed and begins to unpack material he has collected in Europe and Egypt.

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...

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

George Crofts and the Chinese collections

by ROM ReCollects Editor

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...

A Bear Story

A Bear Story

by Dave Barr

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...