Connecting People toNATION

The Singapore spirit is shaped by our
history, achievements and collective
experiences. NLB collects, preserves and
shares our nation’s literary heritage,
memories and records

Singapore Memories

The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) captures memories precious to Singaporeans. More than 1,500 treasured memories are creatively showcased in a special living room setting at the Jurong Regional Library.

The irememberSG Fund aims to encourage organisations and individuals to create projects like films, digital games and photo exhibitions that will collect and showcase Singapore memories leading up to 2015, when Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Other SMP initiatives
  • irememberBookstores (in collaboration with Chou Sing Chu Foundation)
  • irememberParks (in collaboration with NParks)
  • AWESOME MRT Diaries Book 1 and 2
  • Memory Makers videos
  • SMP Memory Kit

We want to create awareness that Singapore is not just a single island; there are other islands and communities that we’ve forgotten along the way. Our project is a concerted effort to record the living history of what we have left before it’s gone, and to get people thinking about the nation’s future. Many of the islanders are quite old. It’s a pity if all this heritage and history is lost.

- Edwin Koo, 35 with his team, Zakaria Zainal, 28, and Juliana Tan, 25
Recipients of the iRememberSG fund, who are working
on a memory project on the Southern Islands

Gift of a Generation

We honoured our pioneer generation through
a special exhibition, Hands: Gift of a
Generation. Singaporeans were touched by
the stories of several pioneers told through
photographs of their hands.

Tracing Family Histories

The exhibition showcased how Singaporean families discovered their family histories. Visitors were taken on a journey to the families’ past through archived documents, photographs, personal artefacts, and precious heirlooms. They also learned about resources that are available for them to trace their own ancestry.

Malay Manuscripts

Historians and researchers can soon view Malay manuscripts, early maps of Singapore and archival information on Sir Stamford Raffles online. We are working with the British library to digitise this collection.

This project was made possible by the kind donation of William and Judith Bollinger.

Khoo Seok Wan:
Poet and Reformist

As part of our literary pioneer series, we featured rare works, poems and letters by Khoo Seok Wan, a prolific poet and a key advocate of China’s reformist movement of 1898 in Singapore.

Tamil Digital Heritage

A community-initiated drive was launched to digitise local Tamil literary works from 1965 to 2015. This effort is supported by NLB. We will host the collection online after it is presented by the Indian Community in 2015 as a gift to Singapore for its 50th anniversary celebrations.

Still from “Moon Over Malaya”. Courtesy of family of Ho Kian-ngiap and the Hong Kong Film Archive - Leisure and Cultural Services Department

Asian Film Archive Joins the NLB Family

In January 2014, the Asian Film Archive (AFA), which preserves and promotes local and regional films, became a subsidiary of NLB. With its collection of more than 1,600 films, AFA complements our efforts to safeguard Singapore’s cultural heritage for future generations. It plans to host film screenings, talks and other engaging programmes at our libraries.

Still from “They Call Her...Cleopatra Wong”. Courtesy of Cleopatra Wong Int’l Pte Ltd

National Archives

Preserving our Past for Future Generations

Archives Online

The Archives Online search portal allows users to view a wide range of archival records. It has been revamped to allow researchers to obtain more specific search results. Users interested in local oral history are now also able to stream full-length oral history interviews of selected interviewees.

Singapore celebrated its 41st birthday at the old National Stadium in 2006. MICA Collection, Courtesy of NAS

Vinyl Cover of The Band of The Singapore Infantry Regiment album, undated. Courtesy of NAS

View of the old national library building in 1967. MITA Collection, Courtesy of NAS

Survey Map of The Straits of Singapore, 1846, with additions in 1855. URA Collection, Courtesy of NAS

Launch of “Singapore Chose Lee Kuan Yew”

Singapore Chose Lee Kuan Yew was launched by the National Archives of Singapore and Cengage Learning Asia. This nine-volume series in Chinese depicts Mr Lee’s illustrious career from different perspectives, such as nation-building, diplomacy, family and friendship, and personal health.

Courtesy of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Courtesy of NAS

History Programmes for Children

Children learnt about the Japanese Occupation in Singapore through participation in re-enacted scenes at the Memories of Old Ford Factory. These educational programmes, “History Through Drama” and “Tales of Resilience” were based on historical records and memories of people who experienced World War II.

Arts and Culture for Everyone

We made arts and culture accessible to more Singaporeans through a wide range of programmes in our libraries. We organised workshops and performances covering performing arts, visual arts, applied arts and Singapore heritage.