Follow passionate mummy-chasers, dino-trackers and bug hunters behind the displays and out in the field as they share their knowledge of the enthralling mysteries and mind-boggling exhibits filling the halls of the Royal Ontario Museum. Museum Diaries takes viewers behind the exhibits, deep into the bowels of the Royal Ontario Museum and out into the field. Through first-hand accounts of the dedicated curators and technicians, we explore modern and ancient history, biodiversity, science, art and ancient cultures.
S01:E01 - Fakes & Frauds Exposed
Museum Diaries follows the ROM’s curators and technicians from the World Cultures department as they utilize the latest technology to research the pedigree of every piece that is exhibited. Museum Diaries portrays the techniques that a select group of curators and technicians use to reveal the authenticity of artifacts. The stories present an intriguing analysis covering ancient fakes to contemporary forgeries, evaluating the genuineness of featured items. While some fakes are easy to detect, others have been so masterfully disguised that they have become iconic in their own “fake” right. The program examines forgeries from all periods of history and examines the impact that looters and fakers have on museums across the world and even in our daily life. It is a thrilling ride through the tireless efforts of curators and technicians as they unveil fakes within the Museum’s collection and avoid being fooled by masters of deception.
S01:E02 - Borneo Bound
Showcasing the lush geography of South East Asia, Museum Diaries follows a team of curators and technicians as they plan, prep and embark on a six-week massive research expedition to the rain forests of the Gunung Mulu Mountains in Borneo. ROM Curator of Entomology, Chris Darling, leads the team. Along for the ride are Curators of Mycology, Jean-Marc Moncalvo, and Mammalogy Assistant Curator, Burton Lim. The Entomology team is conducting follow-up research to a large-scale survey conducted over 35 years ago. The Mycology team will be collecting over 400 mushroom specimens anticipating that 20% will be new to Science. The Mammalogy team is to be the first scientific team to collect bat and rat specimens from the top of the Mountain. The ROM team will be collecting specimens from cicadas to bats, rats to funghi. They will explore the evolution of indigenous species, which can lead to conclusions about the impact of climate change. All of which will be used in research projects at the Royal Ontario Museum as well as for future studies worldwide.
S01:E03 - DNA Dissected
Museum Diaries follows a group of Curators as they use DNA research to discover groundbreaking facts about the evolution of species. Research technician Oliver Haddrath leads viewers on a journey through the ROM’s Ornithology Department, explaining the power of DNA, the interconnectivity of species and the technological advancements in the field. He reveals his current research using DNA to study large flightless birds that in some cases have been extinct for more than 500 hundred years. The ROM’s findings will allow the New Zealand government to save their endangered Kiwi birds. Museum Diaries also follows Oliver as he conducts tests for the ROM’s archaeology department to establish if skulls found in Peruvian tombs from 600 AD are from the same family. Finally Museum Diaries introduces the Curator of Ichthyology (study of fishes), Hernan Lopez-Fernandez, and his team who use DNA research to confirm new species of the Cychlid fish and even unveil many secrets about the true nature of the market fish we eat.
S01:E04 - Dinos Rediscovered
Museum Diaries embarks on a stunning journey following ROM Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, David Evans, and his team on an exploration in the field to the Alberta badlands to discover treasures from 65 million years ago. Museum Diaries follows ROM Project Manager, Jason French, and his team as they carefully deconstruct one of the ROM’s recent Dino exhibits, Ultimate Dinosaurs: The Giants of Gondwana, and prepares the exhibition to travel to other Museums. Then Museum Diaries bears witness to the media mayhem when David Evans unveils to the world a new dinosaur species that he has identified.
S01:E05 - Raja Deen Dayal Revealed
Transporting viewers back in time to explore the vast portfolio of one of India’s most celebrated 19 century photographers, Museum Diaries follows the ROM’s World Cultures Curator, Deepali Dewan, as she leads her team to plan, prep and launch an exhibition of the famous photographs of Raja Deen Dayal. Dayal was the personal photographer to India’s Royalty in the late 1800s and his methods and style of photography were ground breaking. Deepali and her team are faced with various challenges in amassing three collections from around the world for this very special and intimate exhibition. Museum Diaries also witnesses the launch of Deepali and co-author Deb Hutton’s critically acclaimed book on Dayal.
S01:E06 - Ancient Egypt Mummified
Museum Diaries follows Rae Ostman, the Managing Director of the ROM’s Centre for Ancient Cultures, and Kiron Mukherjee, ROMKids Studio Assistant, as they plan, prep and execute an Ancient Egypt Weekend at the ROM. Various curators, preparators, interns and conservators are all involved in bringing together dynamic exhibits for this once a year affair. Museum Diaries accompanies one of the ROM’s Educators and Egyptologists, Gayle Gibson, as she delves further into the results of a CT Scan performed on the ROM’s beautiful 3000 year-old mummy, Djedmaatesankh. Gayle visits the medical technician who was involved with the original scans and the painful causes of Djedmaatesankh’s death are revealed.
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