The Early Exhibits

The original ROM guidebook

The original ROM guidebook

Cover of the original ROM guidebook from 1920. This guidebook emphasises five key exhibits; Archaeology, Geology, Zoology, Palaeontology and Zoology.

Paleontology Exhibit- ROM guidebook

ROM guidebook: Palaeontology Exhibit

Page of the ROM guidebook detailing the Palaeontology exhibit. There are displays of global artefacts intermixed with a very large display of Canadian artefacts. Sir Charles Walker, one of the key individuals in the founding of the ROM was very interested in Paleontology and donated the majority of his collection to the museum.

ROM guidebook: Minerology

ROM guidebook: Mineralogy Exhibit

A full-page display of the 1920 mineralogy exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. The illustration shows a wide variety of minerals on display, from Arctic stones to meteorite specimens.


ROM artefact: 7,500 LB Chinese Bell

Image and description of a large Chinese bell in a 1921 issue of the Globe and Mail. The article details the journey of the bell, including its method of transportation to the museum. The coverage of a new artefact by a newspaper indicates the public excitement around the ROM and its displays.

Article on the opening of the Royal Ontario Museum

Article on the opening of the Royal Ontario Museum

A description of objects in the museum on its opening date, including Egyptian human remains and mediaeval oak furniture. This article also touches on the importance of the museum and the comprehensive nature of its artefact collection. Many of the early artefacts were provided by philantrophic donations from rich Torontonians. Charles Curelly was given free range to purchase artefacts using the donation money he received.


Excitement around new ROM artefacts

Further newsprint coverage of the ROM

A detailed list of many of the early exhibits and different sections of the museum, published in 1914. Some examples with photos provided are West African "fetish" idols and German instruments of torture. 

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