Stories

The snake

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1990s

Some years ago, I was taking part in a ROM programme called (I think) My Favourite Object. Members of the curatorial staff brought their favourite object to what was the Chinese sculpture Atrium and placed it on a table for members of the public to look at and inquire as to why it was a favourite...

Fear Factor

Fear Factor

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2010s

Bats, snakes, spiders… some of the most interesting things at the ROM take a little getting used to. I’ll never forget the visitor who came to the museum to address her chiroptophobia (fear of bats). Her courage was inspiring and my conversation with her was one of many rewarding experiences...

The Consummate Collector from Guyana

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1970s

About 15 years ago, I got a phone call from the public entrance of the ROM. “Mr. Courtman from Guyana would like to meet somebody from mammalogy,” said the admissions staff at the front desk. I was immediately intrigued by this surprise visitor, if he was who I thought he was. David Courtman...

Fusion Concert at the ROM

Fusion Concert at the ROM

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February 1, 2008

I remember performing at the ROM's Canada Court in Feb, 2008. It was a world music concert where I was accomapnying the sitar maestro, Irshad Khan, and his fusion ensemble on keyboards/synthesizers. Other instruments included: sitar, spanish guitar and tabla. We had such a diverse audience...

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...

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

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1950s

Theodore Heinrich is appointed Director, the first for a single ROM. He has come from New York and is a novelty in Toronto the Good.  A new era begins with a flurry of restructuring. Salaries are studied. When the subway is being built (in ’59), there is restricted access but the stop gets a...

Vegetarian Dinosaur

Vegetarian Dinosaur

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2010s

Once while I was facilitating the Dino Dig in the Discovery Gallery I was discussing the Hadrosaur with two children. I asked them what a dinosaur with flat teeth would eat. The girl replied “people.” I explained that dinosaurs did not live at the same time that people lived. Then the boy said...

Extraordinary Library Service

Extraordinary Library Service

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1990s

One of my favourite memories of working on the Reference Desk in the ROM Library is the day a ROM researcher came to the Library looking for a specific journal article that could not be located in Toronto. It looked as if we were going to have to request an InterLibrary Loan from the United States,...

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

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1960s

[Chief Mineralogist Dr. Vic] Meen was in Teheran when an unexpected visitor appeared at my office door in October 1964. He seemed inconsequential: a short, elderly man in a grey overcoat. I was alone in the room and on the phone with Dr Swinton, who was at home with a cold. Sharon, my secretary,...

If the ROM Were a Book....

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2010s

If I were to write a book about the ROM I'd name it "Something Different Every Time."