Record group RG84 - Department of Invertebrate Palaeontology records

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Department of Invertebrate Palaeontology records

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CA ON00259 RG84

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Physical description

1.1 metres of textual records
16 photographs : b&w
2 rolls of microfilm

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Administrative history

The Invertebrate Paleontology record group of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) began in the Department of Natural History at the University of Toronto in 1892. Materials were held in the University of Toronto Biology Building from 1892 and in the Chemistry and Mining Building from c. 1902 to c. 1912. The ROM was established by provincial Act of Parliament in 1912 (to be governed by the University of Toronto), and the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology (one of five components of the ROM) was created on April 3, 1913, by the ROM’s Board of Trustees. The primary function of the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology was to research, collect, catalogue, and exhibit paleontological samples.

Dr. W.A. Parks was the first director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology, from 1913 to 1936. When Parks died in 1936, Dr. Madeline A. Fritz became Acting Director until 1937, when the Royal Ontario Museum of Paleontology was subdivided into Vertebrate and Invertebrate Paleontology Departments, each under an assistant director. Fritz was appointed Assistant Director of Invertebrate Paleontology and Dr. Loris S. Russell became Assistant Director of Vertebrate Paleontology. The Royal Ontario Museum Act, 1947 put the University of Toronto and the Government of Ontario equally in charge of the ROM. In 1950 the Royal Ontario Museums of Zoology and Paleontology were combined. Dr. F.A. Urquhart became director of this new Museum, and Fritz became Associate Director. In 1955 all museums within the ROM were amalgamated under a single director (Gerard Brett). At this point Fritz became Curator in the Department of Invertebrate Paleontology. In 1957, one year after these records end, Fritz received a full professorship from the University of Toronto and resigned her position as Curator. She remained affiliated with the ROM in the capacity of research associate.

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Scope and content

Record group consists mostly of correspondence and a variety of departmental records. It is divided into seven series: Invertebrate Paleontology Department correspondence, Invertebrate Paleontology Department photographs, accounts payable and accounts receivable books, financial records, specimen inventory lists, letters of reference, and Committee on the Devonian Catalogue records.

These records are partially arranged chronologically in five boxes. The two account books (which comprise one box) contain receipts dated 1922-1948. The rest of the material in the other four boxes is dated 1935-1956. The total year span of the fonds is 1922-1956.
This is by no means a complete set of records of the Invertebrate Paleontology Department as the department under various names and incarnations dates back to 1892 and continues beyond 1956 to the present.

Acession 2016-026 consists of two rolls of microfilm which are a reproduction of the initial catalogue of artifacts. A paper copy of this catalogue is currently used by the Department.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The 1922-1956 Invertebrate Paleontology fonds were held by the Invertebrate Paleontology Department until sometime after 1956 (date unknown). Sometime between 1956 and the present (date unknown) the records were transferred to the Royal Ontario Museum Main Library and Archives. These records are still in the custody of the ROM Main Library and Archives, which is governed under the Royal Ontario Museum.

Accession 2016-026 was transferred to the archives by Janet Waddington.


The record group is arranged into the following subseries:
RG84-1: Invertebrate Paleontology Department correspondence
RG84-2: Invertebrate Paleontology Department photographs
RG84-3: Invertebrate Paleontology Department account books
RG84-4: Invertebrate Paleontology Department financial records
RG84-5: Invertebrate Paleontology Department specimen inventory lists
RG84-6: Letters of reference written by Madeline A. Fritz
RG84-7: Committee on the Devonian Catalogue records

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3/31/2023 E. Thomas (Creation)

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