National Library enhances heritage collection with donation of materials from The Singapore Chin Kang Huay Kuan


The National Library Board (NLB) will be receiving a donation of rare documents from the Singapore Chin Kang Huay Kuan (CKHK) on 14 November 2018. The collection will include items such as a handwritten draft of regulations and the first book of minutes which represented the re-establishment of the CKHK following the World War II. This is the second major donation by a Chinese clan to NLB this year, following the Singapore Lam Ann Association earlier this year.

The rare primary documents will enhance Singaporeans’ understanding of the Chinese diaspora and the role of Chinese clan associations in the welfare, education and cultural development of the Chinese community in Singapore in its early years. The donation also contributes to the National Library’s aim to support research and encourage a deeper understanding of Singapore’s rich history.

Founded in 1918, the Singapore Chin Kang Huay Kuan was established for immigrants who had come from the Jinjiang county of Fujian province, China. The association’s building, completed in 1928, served as the headquarters of the Overseas Chinese General Mobilisation Council which had organised a resistance movement among Chinese residents against the Japanese during World War II.


Key highlights of the donation

The following are some highlights from the total donated collection of over 600 materials. Please refer to Annex A for more details.

Social functions of the Chin Kang Huay Kuan (CKHK)

  • Among the materials in the collection will be documents which reflect the social functions of the clan association, which were to resolve problems for the members, facilitate their stay in Singapore, and in later years, serve as a gathering place for members to bond, participate in recreational and cultural activities, and contribute to the community.

  • The first book of minutes (No. 1 in Annex A) recorded the deliberations and discussions of the management meetings held in 1946, the first year after the clan association resumed its activities following the World War II.

  • The “handwritten draft of regulations” (No. 2 in Annex A) is another item highlighting the efforts made by CKHK to re-establish itself after the war. In late 1945, the management committee amended the regulations of the clan association. These were passed at the Members’ General Meeting on 16 June 1946. The handwritten draft of the amended regulations had been kept by the clan association for over 70 years.


The Relief Section

  • The Relief Section under CKHK was officially inaugurated on 11 June 1947, so as to provide better support for its members. The Relief Section was mainly involved in visiting invalids and bereaved families as well as assisting with funerals and weddings. The Relief Section held separate Members’ General Meetings from those of CKHK, and the synopsis of one of their meetings is shown in Annex A (No. 12).
  • Chin Kang School.
    • The materials on Chin Kang School showed the establishment, operations and daily activities of a post-war vernacular Chinese school before education for the masses became regulated by the Ministry of Education.
    • An undated handwritten and self-made entrance ticket for a school fun fair (No. 18 in Annex A) showed that school life back then was not only about studies – the fun fair was held on 10 October 1948 to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Chin Kang School, and the inauguration of new school staff.


Donations of historical materials to NLB

The National Library is Singapore’s knowledge institution, responsible for preserving our cultural and literary heritage as well as the provision of trusted reference services. NLB constantly seeks to enrich its collection on Singapore and Southeast Asia history through acquisitions and public donations. The materials donated by the CKHK clan association will be made accessible to researchers and members of the public at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. A selection will also be digitised and made available for public access on PictureSG and NLB’s BookSG website (

More than just supporting reference and research, the National Library uses materials in its rich collection to develop greater public appreciation of Singapore’s history through exhibitions, programmes and publications. Through these donations, NLB hopes that it will encourage other organisations, including clan associations, to donate their precious materials to the National Library in order that present and future generations will be able to access them.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Ernest Lee
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Tel: 9010 9719

Ms Cheryl Tan 
National Library Board
Tel: 6718 3698


About National Library Board
The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 26 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore’s history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.

NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

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