Stories

Scary Mummy

Scary Mummy

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1940s

About 1946, when I was 2 years old, my Grandparents were babysitting me in Toronto while my mother was expecting a baby. My Granddad took me to the ROM for the first time. Now, I know current theory holds that children don't remember things earlier than age 3 or 4, But, I assure you, I am an...

Playing Hooky

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2010s

In 2011, my employer participated in a cultural exchange program where francophone students from Quebec were given the opportunity to work in Toronto for the summer. The student who was assigned to work in my department was an enthusiastic young girl from Montreal who connected well with all of us....

Journey to Mars

Journey to Mars

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2010s

One of the best days I have at the ROM is getting a first-hand look at the meteorites that have been to the farthest reaches of space and time.

Grade 5 at the ROM

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1980s

In early 1988 my grade 5 gifted class took advantage of an amazing opportunity: we spent every Wednesday for six weeks at the ROM. Each visit was dedicated to a specific theme. One visit was all about ancient Egypt and another was about Canadian wildlife. Those school trips were the beginning of my...

Meeting the Makers of Bollywood Art

Meeting the Makers of Bollywood Art

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2010s

When working in a museum, we do not often get the chance to meet the people who created the pieces in the collection or see these objects being made. Almost three years ago, however, I was lucky that I was asked to act as the ROM’s host for Suresh and Sushant Sandal, two Bollywood billboard...

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...

Charlie and Fido

Charlie and Fido

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1960s

In the 1960s my father was seconded to the ROM from the Toronto Board of Education and the immediate effect of this career move for me was access to the Royal Ontario Museum after closing hours. I had a tremendous sense of privilege and insider knowledge when my mother and I picked my father up at...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

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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...

A Museum for the University

A Museum for the University

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1900s

A Royal Commission on the Future of the University recommends establishing a university museum. Sir Edmund Walker has had a concept in mind for at least 20 years. “Every year’s delay is a misfortune, not only to the education of the students.... but to the education and material welfare of the...

The Museum Cat

The Museum Cat

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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...