Vol 11 Issue 4, Jan-Mar 2016

Highlights of the National Library

The National Library Board wins hearts (and minds) around the world with its SG50 Gift of Books initiative. Amelia Tan has the details.

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British colonial administrator John Crawfurd once wrote that the Chinese in 19th-century Southeast Asia have a “propensity to form secret societies [that] has sometimes proved inconvenient”. But…

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Few people are aware that one of the main functions of the National Library is the collection and preservation of rare materials on Singapore’s history. Ong Eng Chuan tells you…

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The National Library’s newest exhibition, “From the Stacks”, presents highlights of its Rare Materials Collection. Chung Sang Hong explains why you should not miss this event.

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Long before the advent of modern communications and transportation systems, merchants in 19th-century Singapore relied on the humble newspaper to track shipping arrivals and departures. As the movement of cargo, people and mail…

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The year 1914 brought with it the devastation of World War I, and the beginning of widespread food shortages and hikes in food prices. The expatriate community in…

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The Peranakan Museum in Armenian Street is probably the best place to go if you want to learn about the origins, history and culture of Singapore’s fascinating Straits Chinese or Peranakan community. But…

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The horrors of the Japanese Occupation (1942–45) in Singapore can be read in any number of history books. But few are likely to be as candid or visceral…

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Shortly after Stamford Raffles established a British trading outpost in Singapore on 6 February 1819, missionaries began arriving here in hopes of spreading Christianity to the people.The first of these missionary groups was…

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Singapore’s meteoric rise as a maritime trade centre soon after its founding in 1819 was largely due to its prime location at the tip of the Malay Peninsula. With trade came immigration…

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Photography in Singapore has a long history dating back to 1843. The earliest photographs, or daguerrotypes, captured images on metal plates. Then, in 1851, the glass plate collodion process was introduced, which allowed…

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Soon after Singapore gained independence in 1965, the government announced that English would be the lingua franca that would unite the linguistically diverse population. But attempts to forge a common language in Singapore had…

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In the early 1950s, two young Malayan undergraduates, Wang Gungwu and Beda Lim, bonded over their shared love for English poetry. They spent hours poring over the classic literary works of Shakespeare,…

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