Stories

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...

Fifty Years Ago...

Fifty Years Ago...

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1970s

Fifty years ago I was thirteen years old. My head was filled with the mystery of the pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies. In a letter to the ROM Personnel Department, I offered my services to assist on a summer dig in Egypt. Helen Downie replied that I was too young to represent the Museum abroad....

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...

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...

Three ROM Generations

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2010s

We come from hard-working immigrant roots. Schooled in both Ukrainian and English schools, my first outing from school to a downtown location was to the ROM. Although my parents, who had emigrated after the war from Ukraine, had never been to the museum, they were as excited about my school trip as...

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...

Recollections of the Conservation Department

Recollections of the Conservation Department

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1970s

For two summers, as a university student in Art History, I worked in the Conservation Department as an assistant to Susan Richardson. Essentially my job was typing. I typed treatment reports for each artifact that received expert care in the department. In those days, the reports were typed on card...

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.

My Second Home

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2000s

I've been lucky enough to experience the ROM as a visitor, volunteer and staff member over the last almost 30 years of my life. I would completely credit the ROM with two huge things in my life- helping me figure out what I actually want to do with my life and helping to keep me calm at tough...