Your Memories

We brought you stories of our past generations through exhibitions, archived records and shared memories to explore our common heritage.

Please scroll down to start reading.

Your Memories

Preserving Our Past


With the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) joining our family in November 2012, NLB’s role as the custodian of the nation’s official records and published heritage has expanded. NAS’ archives and oral histories were consolidated with NLB’s collection of Singapore-related library materials. This has significantly increased our capacity to preserve Singapore’s documentary heritage and collective memory for future generations.

Insights into Singapore’s Development

The Papers of Lee Kuan Yew: Speeches, Interviews and Dialogues (1990- 2011) was jointly launched with publisher Cengage Learning in March 2013. The collection, which was drawn primarily from NAS’ records, recounts the thoughts and ideals of Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.

Exchanging Archival Ideas

More than 140 participants from 36 public and private institutions and regional archival organisations gathered for professional exchange, in particular on digital records management, at NAS’ Records Management Seminar 2012: “Mission Continuity – Decoding for Tomorrow”, held in November 2012.

Raffles’ Letters: Intrigues Behind the Founding of Singapore

Organised in collaboration with the Singapore Heritage Society, Mount Stuart Trust and Dr John Bastin, a leading scholar on Raffles, the Raffles’ Letters: Intrigues Behind the Founding of Singapore exhibition was launched in August 2012. Visitors were offered a glimpse of a lesser-known side of Singapore’s past.

On display were 86 artefacts including maps, paintings, publications and letters penned by Sir Stamford Raffles. The artefacts were drawn from the following collections:

  • The Bute Collection
  • The Tang Holdings Collection
  • The Antiques of the Orient Collection
  • The Lim Chen Sian Collection

Money by Mail to China: Dreams and Struggles of Early Migrants

The Money by Mail to China: Dreams and Struggles of Early Migrants exhibition gave a touching portrayal of the trials, tribulations and dreams of overseas Chinese immigrants between the late 1800s and the 1970s through 48 artefacts and letters. The exhibition was launched in September 2012 in collaboration with the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Association and the Quanzhou Archives.

Campaign City: Life in Posters

Local artists provided their own interpretations of past campaign posters through the Campaign City: Life in Posters exhibition, which was launched in January 2013. In collaboration with art curator Alan Oei, the exhibition offered visitors another take on the campaigns that have shaped our social mores over the years. Also on display were seven campaigns which rallied Singaporeans to confront the challenges during the post-independence period of Singapore in the 1960s and 1970s.

Cut Hair or Die, Vanessa Lim,
Campaign City: Life in Posters,
National Library Board, 2013

Singa Nemesis, John Clang,
Campaign City: Life in Posters,
National Library Board, 2013

Honouring our Literary Pioneers

Launched in September 2012, the Edwin Thumboo – Time Travelling: A Poetry Exhibition enthralled visitors with the literary works of Edwin Thumboo, one of Singapore’s most widely acclaimed poets.

Visitors were exposed to some of the earlier writings and manuscripts by award winning literary pioneer, Muhammad Ariff Ahmad at the Sumbangsih MAS: A Muhammad Ariff Ahmad Exhibition launched in December 2012.

Capturing our Memories – Singapore Memory Project

Singaporeans from all walks of life contributed their fond memories and personal stories to the Singapore Memory Project. This treasure trove of life experiences by ordinary Singaporeans enables us to develop new narratives of Singapore’s past.

A multi-pronged approach combining social media, mainstream media and outreach activities was employed to harvest the rich memories of Singaporeans from all walks of life. This ongoing initiative will continue its memory collection drive into 2015.

Major outreach initiatives

  • iremembermySchoolDays
  • irememberMENDAKI
  • irememberChingay
  • iremember goes to Yuhua
  • iremember goes to Punggol
  • Google Walk for Schools
  • iremember goes to Kolam Ayer
  • irememberDoingGood
  • My Singapore Story: Home, Heart, Hope
  • irememberScienceCentre
  • iremember goes to Tampines

Capturing our Memories – Singapore Memory Project