Welcome remarks by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of the National Library Board at the Completion of the Digital Archives of Singapore Tamil Arts on 30 November 2019

Senior Minister Tharman

Minister Iswaran

Friends from the Centre for Singapore Tamil Culture

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

1. A very warm welcome to all of you. In 2015, the National Library Board, together with the Centre for Singapore Tamil Culture (then called the Tamil Digital Heritage Group) embarked on a five-year project to preserve and promote Tamil language and culture in Singapore. This project, titled the Tamil Digital Heritage Project, is a community-driven project aimed at creating a digital collection of Singapore’s Tamil culture.

2. As part of Singapore’s SG50 celebrations, under this project, we successfully digitised materials on Singapore’s Tamil literature from 1965 to 2015. Since then, we have launched two more initiatives where we collected and digitised materials related to Tamil theatre and Tamil music, in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

3. This year is the fifth and final year of our collaboration. I am happy to announce the launch of the fourth initiative, titled the Digital Archive of Singapore Tamil Dance. We have collected various Tamil dance-related materials such as videos, flyers, magazines and programme booklets from both Singapore dance pioneers and young artists. We have curated and digitised these materials and uploaded them online so that they are accessible to the public, including researchers.

4. The Tamil Digital Heritage Project would not have been possible without the passion, commitment and hard work of the Tamil Digital Heritage Group. Since early 2019, the group has become part of the Centre for Singapore Tamil Culture. We are happy to continue working with centre’s director, Mr Arun Mahizhnan, who has also been the chief coordinator of this series of projects.

5. I would like to thank Mr Arun and his team who have led the various digital archive projects – Ganesh Subramaniam, Sushma Somasekaran and Dr Lavanya Balachandran. Not forgetting the group of passionate members and volunteers, for setting aside time and energy to work closely with the community to gather these Tamil materials. I would also like to thank my colleagues in NLB who have been working with Centre for Singapore Tamil Culture since 2013.

6. We hope that these digital archives of Tamil literature, theatre, music and dance will allow present and future generations to learn about Singapore’s Tamil culture. NLB will continue its mission to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s cultural and literary heritage.

7. Have a wonderful evening. Thank you.