Opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) showcases art, culture, and nature from around the globe and across the ages. One of North America's most renowned institutions of natural history and world cultures, Canada's largest museum is home to a world-class collection of more than six million specimens, objects and artifacts, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. As the country’s preeminent field research institute and an international leader in new and original findings in biodiversity, palaeontology, earth sciences, the visual arts, material culture and archaeology, the ROM plays a vital role in advancing our global understanding of the natural and cultural world. The Renaissance ROM expansion project (2007) merged the iconic architectural heritage of the original building with the Studio Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. A distinctive new symbol of Toronto for the 21st century, the Crystal marked the beginning of a new era for the ROM as the country's premier cultural and social destination.