Over 3,000 heritage items donated to National Library Board’s collections for public education

Sixty-eight donors made their contributions between April 2021 and March 2022.

Benjamin Chew
Benjamin Chew

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Published: 15 September 2022, 5:08 PM

Members of the public can now discover more about Singapore’s history through National Library Board’s (NLB) recently expanded collections.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, 68 donors contributed more than 3,000 items to NLB in a bid to present various perspectives on Singapore’s history.

New items in these collections, which reveal lesser known details about Singapore in the past, include manuscripts by literary pioneers, letters and art prints. 


Items of historical significance are included in the collection. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD


For instance, the collections boast a set of 23 Japanese war art prints, including the painting of The Meeting of General Yamashita and General Percival

This painting portrayed one of the most impactful moments in Singapore’s history by depicting the British surrender of Singapore on Feb 15, 1942.

Other items in the collections also include photographs of the old Changi Airport that provide unique perspectives of Singapore’s past.


The land in the photographs would eventually be developed to expand Changi Airport. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD


The collections serve as a valuable form of documentation for various sights and infrastructure in old Singapore that may no longer be present today.

The public can access these collections through online platforms such as Archives Online, BookSG, PictureSG, NewspaperSG, Web Archive Singapore and the National Repository of the Arts.

To maximise exposure of these collections to the public, NLB is exploring different ways to share stories about its collections, such as displays in exhibitions at revamped libraries.

“Members of the public can look forward to more discoveries from our enriched collections, to discover and learn about Singapore’s heritage and identity,” said NLB.

Those who want to contribute their own Singapore stories can also do so through an online crowdsourcing platform that will be launched in 2023. Called Documenting Singapore Together, contributions can be made digitally through images or videos.

The platform also serves as an expansion of the National Archives of Singapore’s Citizen Archivist project. 

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