“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.…
More than 800 items documenting early Japanese interactions in Singapore and the region have been donated to the National Library. Gracie Lee explains the significance of this repository.
Sharen Chua shares highlights of commemorative sports publications from the National Library’s Legal Deposit Collection.
The National Library recently received several rare items connected to the history of the Nan’an community and Hong San See Temple in Singapore. Ang Seow Leng presents highlights of the collection.
Lim Tin Seng charts the history of Singapore’s expressways, from the oldest Pan-Island Expressway, built in the 1960s to the newest Marina Coastal Expressway.
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.
What was the act of shopping like for a generation that was more concerned about putting food on the table? Yu-Mei Balasingamchow ponders over our penchant for shopping.
Tim Bunnell speaks to former Malay sailors who reside in the English city and learns how they manage to sustain their identity in a city so removed from home.
This time-honoured festival has left no tangible trace of its observance in Singapore. Tan Chui Hua pieces together oral history interviews to reconstruct its proper place in Chinese culture.
Crocodiles elicit fear and respect by turns – and occasionally, even indifference. Kate Pocklington and Siddharta Perez document reptilian encounters at specific times in Singapore’s history and their impact on the human psyche.