Stories

Two small girls and two tall totem poles

Two small girls and two tall totem poles

by Elizabeth O'Grady

1970s

When I was growing up, every summer my grandmother would take my sister and me and do the rounds of the Toronto attractions. Ontario Place, the Science Centre, the AGO, the Zoo...every Friday we would go on an outing. (It didn't occur to me until much later that Grandma probably didn't...

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

Colonel McLaughlin funds a planetarium

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1960s

The space exhibition may have influenced Col R S McLaughlin to donate $2m for  a planetarium and a further million as an endowment fund. (Dr Meen, Chief Mineralogist, had been trying to raise interest for a decade). The University donated the land. At this point, there was again so much...

Chasing Centipedes

Chasing Centipedes

by Tony Hanik

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...

My History of Visiting the ROM

by Sean Kelly

1990s

I am still quite young (turning 32 this year), but I estimate that I have been going to the ROM for at least a quarter of the museum's existence, beginning with trips I made as a child in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I remember visiting areas, such as the bat cave, when they were still...

Bishop William White

Bishop William White

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1920s

Bishop William White of Honan calls on Currelly. For the next decade they work to build the collections – from early bronzes to the great wall paintings in the gallery named after him.

ROM Foundation Establshed

ROM Foundation Establshed

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1990s

The Foundation is established to be responsible for all philanthropic activities in support of the Museum's highest priorities. Nowadays, the office of the ROM Governors is supported by an independent Board which provides leadership in a wide range of activities supporting ROM programs,...

Winnifred Needler

Winnifred Needler

by Annette Boenke-Jarek

1950s

Winifred (Friedl) Needler joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1935 as a draughtsman-cataloguer.  She took a year's leave to study Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology, along with Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphics) at Yale, which study she continued upon return to the ROM under the...

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

Institute for Contemporary Culture Established

by Julia Matthews

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...

Evolving Governance

Evolving Governance

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1940s

A new Royal Ontario Museum Act increases the size of the Board of Trustees and moves the control and budget entirely to the University of Toronto as a department. There are four discipline museums (Zoology; Palaeontology; Mineralogy & Geology; Archaeology)  plus a Division of Extension, which...

Formative Moments

by Dave Barr

1950s

It was on a solo visit to the Royal Ontario Museum as a high school student. I had been there on a class visit in public school, but by now I had become fascinated by the world of insects, their diversity, their evolution. So I had a specific interest. I was standing in the vast old,...