10.00am – 9.00pm
Level 10, Donors’ Gallery
National Library Building
Free admission

Donations of library materials to the National Library play a significant role in adding diversity and depth to our collection and are instrumental in assisting the library to obtain notable National Collection items. Over the past 10 years, we have collected over 116,000 items contributed by more than 425 donors.

Our donors comprise individuals (including collectors and scholars), families and organisations. The types of materials donated include primary materials such as diaries, personal papers, letters, business and organisational documents, manuscripts of notable Singaporean writers and artists, photographs and early maps of Singapore and the region.
This Donors’ Gallery was set up to acknowledge our donors and showcase their donations. On display is a small selection of materials which provides a glimpse of the variety of materials that have been gifted to the National Library over the years.

Singapore’s Urban Built Heritage

Through the Lens of Lee Kip Lin

Lee Kip Lin (1925 – 2011) was a well-known architectural historian, educator and architect. An advocate of conservation, he undertook extensive photographic surveys of streets and buildings in Singapore from 1965 to 1995. The Lee Kip Lin Collection, containing over 17,000 images, is a meticulous visual record of Sinagapore’s architectural heritage and spatial transformation over a 30-year period. The Lee family donated the photographs to the National Library Board in 2009.

This display highlights Lee’s efforts in documenting the diverse architecture and streetscapes of Singapore. The photographs capture the oldest urban areas of Singapore – Boat Quay, Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Little India. These four areas were the first to be gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on 7 July 1989, which saw strict conservation guidelines put in place to preserve the physical character of these historic districts. While Lee’s primary focus was on the built form, his photographs also serve as a record of the social life and economic activities in these areas.


Follow the Track of the Ancient Navigators

Batavia, 1938
Donated by John Koh

This is a brochure issued by the Dutch shipping line, Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM). The objective was to interest the travelling public in the company’s Orient-Java-Africa Service, which offered a voyage on board one of KMP’s new luxurious vessels which travelled to various ports and destinations including Singapore.


Taman Puspa

1949 (unpublished)
Donated by Muhammad Ariff Ahmad

Muhammad Ariff Ahmad (1924 – 2016), also known as MAS, was an award-winning writer, editor and lecturer. His works include children’s books and textbooks as well as essays on Malay culture and language. Taman Puspa (1949) is an illustrated collection of 67 poems written from 1944 to 1949.

Digital access

Selected materials have been digitized and made accessible on:

One of the aims of the National Library is to build a comprehensive collection on Singapore and selectively on Southeast Asia. We welcome donations of published and unpublished works that will enrich our collection, but unfortunately are not able to accept everything.

Please click on the button below to find out more about the donation process, and materials we are looking for in particular.