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2005 12 26
Five Things I Love About the Royal Ontario Museum - 3 - Reprised
imageI Love What You Don't See at the ROM
When you work at the ROM, there is lots going on behind the scenes. Ichthyology and Herpetology is right outside my office door along with a warning sign about specimens in ethyl alcohol; there’s a Santa’s workshop-like studio hidden away on the second floor with teams of people building mounts, some so small they must be for fleas, for the displays in the new galleries; there are people planning and constructing temporary exhibits; a library; 43 curators and assistant curators doing research, publishing papers, and tending collections, many of which are in the massive storage vaults of the ROM; people creating publications, and producing media, including our website and the digital images of the collections; security; volunteers, and …you get the idea. It’s a world.

It’s full of serious people. I don’t mean perfect people necessarily but serious like this could be a hospital where lives are at stake. It’s not glamorous conserving peculiar things, perhaps artifacts or insects that few care about, but the world needs them preserved. In a time when a PhD is ho-hum compared to an MBA, and when being a investment banker gets you to the front of the plane and a scientist means you fly as cheaply as you can if you fly at all, most of the people that work at the ROM clearly don’t do it to get rich. Altruistic is such a sucky word and not the right one. Perhaps they do it because they must. The ROM isn’t a church, but it’s a faith-based institution. I certainly take solace, when I’m having a bad day, that the ROM is doing important things.
[email this story] Posted by Kelvin Browne / Royal Ontario Museum on 12/26 at 01:20 PM

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