Frequently Asked Questions

The National Library’s mandate is to collect, preserve and make accessible Singapore’s documentary heritage and intellectual output. We also collect a representative selection of materials on Southeast Asia documenting Singapore’s links with the region.


Donations are an important avenue for collection development, especially materials that reside in the collections of individuals, families, collectors and organisations. Donated materials that we have received so far include:

  • manuscripts and typescripts relating to the creations of our literary pioneers, playwrights, theatre practitioners and music composers;
  • organisational records of various associations and societies;
  • photographs documenting Singapore’s changing landscapes and development;
  • architectural plans and drawings from pioneer architects and architectural firms;
  • early maps of Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Donation offers will be evaluated based on our collection policy, whether it is available in our holdings, rarity of the item, its age and condition. While we appreciate the generosity of potential donors, unfortunately we are not able to accept everything.

All donations of collection materials to the Library are permanent gifts.

Donations accepted will be integrated into NLB’s collections and subject to the same conditions of use as determined by NLB, including their preservation, retention, location and access.

Donated items are selectively digitised in accordance with our digitisation and preservation policy. Digitised materials are made accessible to the public via our online platforms, subject to copyright and access conditions.

Donated items accepted by us are integrated into our collections and searchable in the online catalogue

The materials are made available to researchers and members of the public for research and study, either onsite at the National Library or online (for digital materials) via our websites.

If you are interested in donating your materials, please complete the online donation form and we will respond to you shortly.

For donation enquiries, please email