The ROM Ichthyology Collection: A Video History

I spent a happy and productive 10 years as a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum working in the Department of Ichthyology before moving on to become President of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa – one of Canada’s national museums. The ichthyology collection at the ROM is a world-class collection. I was very pleased to have been able to add significantly to its tropical fish holdings. The head of the department when I first joined was Dr. W.B. Scott, the key player in developing the collection and the oldest living member of the ROM.

A reflection on the origins and growth of the collection of fishes at the Royal Ontario Museum by many of the important contributors. Current and past curators share memories from nearly 100 years of collecting, cataloguing, and describing species from the basement of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Vanessa Minke-Martin was a student in the Environmental Visual Communication program a joint effort of Sir Sanford Flemming College and the ROM. This program is a recognition that science communication about the environment and about science itself has been woefully lacking in the past several decades. This has led to the declining of interest in institutional science except as related to innovating for commercial ends. This program and Vanessa`s treatment of the subject underscores a renewed and enthusiastic support for reaching out to a much broader audience with fascinating stories about the history of scientific endeavors. It is especially satisfying to me that it treats a museum subject.

Vanessa Minke-Martin studied Biology & Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo. She became interested in conservation and fisheries biology while exploring the rivers of southwestern Ontario for Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a summer student. In 2013, Vanessa spent two months interviewing ichthyologists at the Royal Ontario Museum and documenting their research.

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