As of 30 November 2020, the National Library Board and the National Museum of Singapore have received over 510 submissions of more than 3,100 photos, personal stories, videos, ephemera, webpages, blogs and diaries and creative responses.
The National Library Board (NLB) and the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) will be extending the joint public call for records till 30 June 2021 to collect more materials and memories of Singaporeans during the pandemic. As Singapore prepares to enter phase 3 of reopening, the public call for records, titled ‘Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore’, will be extended for another six months to capture more contributions from the public on their memories and experiences of the new normal.
Launched on 22 May this year, this initiative seeks to engage the public to capture a key historical moment as it unfolds and to build the nation’s contemporary collection. Both NLB and NMS hope to preserve and present a more complete and richer picture of life in Singapore during COVID-19 for future generations.
Hear from the experiences of others
"The National Library Board continues to collect today, for tomorrow. This pandemic is an extraordinary moment in our history. As we transition into new rhythms at home, school and work in Phase 3, we invite more people to share their stories with us. This will help us preserve our collective memories and experience of this significant event in world history and remember its impact on Singapore, especially on our daily lives," said Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive Officer of the National Library Board.
One inspiring submission was the story of two brothers, 10-year-old Ryan Tan and 12-year-old Zachary Tan, who organised an online charity concert called 'Music for Hope' with 17 friends, raising over $7,000 for Community Chest. Taking inspiration from the 'One World' online concert – a global digital broadcast dedicated to frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organisation – the duo staged their version of a musical performance complete with guitars, violins, pianos, vocals, and even a band, to honour essential workers. The money raised went towards supporting vulnerable individuals and families affected by COVID-19 in Singapore.
NLB is featuring stories from the Documenting COVID-19 collection in a series of monthly blogposts on the National Library Blog from September 2020 to March 2021 (https://go.gov.sg/blog-covid19). Submissions are also being made available on NLB's PictureSG website, where over 260 photos can already be accessed via the keyword search, ‘COVID-19’ (https://go.gov.sg/picturesg-covid19).
In addition, NLB has recorded 10 in-depth audio interviews since the launch of the oral history component of Documenting COVID-19 in August 2020. NLB aims to record at least 120 interviews from now till 2022 and the public will be able to access them progressively on the Archives Online website (https://go.gov.sg/c-19-oral-history).
NMS collection a part of upcoming exhibition
The National Museum has received various objects and stories including an assortment of handmade face masks, visual diaries documenting the Circuit Breaker, and other creative responses like artwork and illustrations depicting everyday life during the pandemic, as well as thoughtful thank-you notes to our essential workers.
The museum is also displaying a small selection from the first batch of objects and photographs collected through the Collecting Contemporary Singapore: Collecting COVID-19 in Singapore open call, in its Home Truly, Growing Up with Singapore, 1950s to the Present exhibition that will open on 19 December 2020. This includes three pieces of homemade face masks contributed by a family, as well as a special face shield developed by staff from the Institute of Technical Education to help lecturers be more audible when speaking. The design features an integrated melaphone to increase the speaker’s voice level when worn. The Home, Truly exhibition will run till 29 August 2021.
Chung May Khuen, Director of the National Museum of Singapore says: "We are amazed by how people continue to innovate in times like these and come up with such creative responses along with their inspiring stories. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we will keep on capturing moments of people’s lives during this new normal and welcome contributions from the public, particularly those related to face masks and innovative solutions, so that future generations can look back and learn from this important episode of our history."
For more information on how to contribute to the project, please refer to the attached Annex. More details are also available at the NLB webpage (https://go.gov.sg/documenting-covid19) and NMS webpage (https://go.gov.sg/nms-ccs-covid19).
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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 27 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).
For more information, please visit the NLB website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
For media enquiries on the National Library Board, please contact:
Tel: +65 9386 0027
Tel: +65 9223 2570Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the National Museum of Singapore
With a history dating back to 1887, the National Museum of Singapore is the nation’s oldest museum with a progressive mind. Its galleries adopt cutting-edge and multi-perspective ways of presenting history and culture to redefine conventional museum experience. A cultural and architectural landmark in Singapore, the Museum hosts innovative festivals and events all year round—the dynamic Night Festival, visually arresting art installations, as well as amazing performances and film screenings—in addition to presenting thought-provoking exhibitions involving critically important collections of artefacts. The programming is supported by a wide range of facilities and services including F&B, retail and a Resource Centre. The National Museum of Singapore re-opened in December 2006 after a three-year redevelopment. It refreshed its permanent galleries and re-opened them in September 2015 for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. In 2017, it celebrated its 130th anniversary. For more details, please visit www.nationalmuseum.sg.
For media enquiries on the National Museum of Singapore, please contact:
Tel: 9048 3141
Tel: 8444 9321