Stories

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

James Cruise, Director 1975- 85

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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...

A Fish Story

A Fish Story

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1980s

The ROM moved quickly when it was given a frozen coelacanth that had been caught live in April 1987. It was displayed in a glass-topped freezer. Once this species was thought to be extinct. Nowadays, you can watch a video of swimming fish in the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.

The Leonardo Syndrome

The Leonardo Syndrome

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2010s

David Barr, who held curatorial and managerial positions at the ROM, was always an early adaptor. Recently, he enrolled in a MOOC and this is his first assignment: to create a digital object. All the apps and programs he used are licensed from Creative Commons.

Formative Moments

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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,...

Partial to Pyramids?

Partial to Pyramids?

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2000s

The memory is fleeting but it seems to me the gallery that housed the ROM’s mummy Anjau was much more spacious and brightly lit when I first visited him 26 years ago. Or could it be the lens of a 10 year old’s joy which fills the scene with so much light? I was captivated by everything Egyptian...

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

J. H. Fleming, Ornithologist Extraordinaire

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1940s

J. H. Fleming dies. He has had office space at the ROM since the 20s, when he willed his ornithological collection to the Museum. It was then the largest and most comprehensive private collection of skins, mounts, eggs in North America, with a special focus on birds of paradise. With it came his...

The Diamond Necklace

The Diamond Necklace

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2010s

Until my daughter, Nicola Woods, began to work at the Royal Ontario Museum as the Rights and Reproductions Coordinator, I had given little thought to what went on behind the scenes to sustain the Museum’s public exhibitions and events. And, despite knowing that museums, in general, are...

Honey bees

Honey bees

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2010s

I have been volunteering for eight years and one of the reasons I am still giving my time is the honey bees. They are so cute and all the visitors just love hearing all about them. I learn something new about them every time I'm here. The people in biodiversity are great too. Happy 100th,...

Run for the ROM

Run for the ROM

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1980s

Staff initiated 24 hour relay run to raise $83,000 for the ROM's 70th birthday.  A favourite stop for the athletes was the ROM BBQ which kept them fueled throughout the day (and night). The Run was reinstated in 2012.

Dinomobile Tours the Province

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1990s

The ROM acquires a new van. Did it visit your town?