July 2018


“Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore”. That’s the title of our latest exhibition opening at the National Library Building on 20 July 2018 – showcasing print advertisements drawn from the library’s collection of newspapers, periodicals, books and ephemera produced between the 1830s and 1960s. In this issue’s cover story, Chung Sang Hong provides an overview of the exhibition and tells us how advertisements can provide clues to the social and economic conditions of the time. What was the act of shopping like for Singaporeans in the 1960s? For one thing, people didn’t “hang out” at shopping malls like they do today. Yu-Mei Balasingamchow takes a walk down Raffles Place, High Street and North Bridge Road – where she relives the halcyon days of department stores such as Whiteaways and John Little, standalone shops the likes of Chotirmall and Bajaj Textiles, and the slightly seedy but fascinating warren of Change Alley.…

Public housing is a Singapore success story, but the early years of high-rise living were sometimes a bittersweet experience. Janice Loo pores through the pages of Our Home magazine during its 17-year run.