April 2021 marks the launch of our first podcast Radio DDC. The first season highlights our MusicSG collection which explores Singapore’s musical history and the development of its music scene through audio recordings of local compositions.

Marketing manager turned showrunner Chen Shanshan wrote and produced the podcast. She goes behind the scenes to look at what goes into producing a podcast series and shares stories from the recording studio.

Podcasts are hugely popular around the world, especially the United States. Podcasts were first added to Apple’s iTunes in 2005¹ and by 2020, there were more than one million podcast shows!²…


Our intrepid manager Luke Chua traipses across the globe seeking rare treasures about Singapore to digitise and share with everyone.

Like an initially apprehensive Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, I am not one to volunteer for an adventure that would take me away from safety and material comforts. However, also like Bilbo, I have (metaphorically) embarked on an adventure to distant lands. Thankfully, I am not leaving my hobbit-hole behind and there are no dragons to slay (for now).

My adventure has a name: the “Singapore Digital Resource”. It is an ongoing, global treasure hunt for manuscripts, documents…


What lies in the Rare Materials Collection of the National Library, Singapore? In this series, we explore the gems of this treasure trove to uncover their fascinating stories.

Senior librarian Ong Eng Chuan retraces the journey that a 19th-century book has taken, tracks down the characters involved and finds out more about an ingenious printing technology of the time.

The National Library acquires materials relating to Singapore and Southeast Asia so as to provide a rich source of documentary record on Singapore’s and regional history for both researchers and public alike. Through the years, many of these historical materials would…


This is part of our series of COVID-19 stories to showcase submissions received from our ongoing “Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore” community call, which aims to preserve the everyday stories and experiences of Singaporeans affected by the pandemic.

In our final post of the series, associate librarian Rebecca Tan looks at how Singaporeans are changing and adapting to the new normal.

It’s been more than six months since Singapore’s circuit-breaker. With the community’s collective efforts in the fight against COVID-19, we were able to move into Phase 3 on 28 December 2020.¹ …


This is part of our series of COVID-19 stories to showcase submissions received from our ongoing “Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore” community call, which aims to preserve the everyday stories and experiences of Singaporeans affected by the pandemic.

Associate librarian Rebecca Tan checks out the creative endeavours that people have embarked on during these unusual times.

In these times of anxiety, it may be difficult to summon the energy and playfulness often associated with creativity. Some days, getting out of bed would have been a small victory. …


Librarian Sharon Teng delves into the library’s resources to investigate climate change in Singapore and, in the process, discovers weather phenomena that have taken place in our island nation over the years.

As nice as the “aircon” weather had been for Singapore in early January, it is not necessarily a good sign for the planet. The recent cool weather is a result of the La Nina climate phenomenon which causes more rainy weather and is made worse by accelerating climate change, which has been adversely affecting the planet.¹

It may be hard to believe but even with lockdowns and factory…


This is part of our series of COVID-19 stories to showcase submissions received from our ongoing “Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore” community call, which aims to preserve the everyday stories and experiences of Singaporeans affected by the pandemic.

Associate librarian Rebecca Tan shares how the pandemic has reshaped the commuting experience of many locals.

A picture of the Marina Bay Sands area, taken during Singapore’s circuit breaker in May. (Clare Ong’s contribution, National Library, Singapore, 2020)

Recently, while waiting for the train on my way to work, I was struck by the realisation that less than a year ago Singapore had been so different: It was quiet. There was hardly anyone about. (Almost) everything was closed. …


What lies in the Rare Materials Collection of the National Library, Singapore? In this series, we explore the gems of this treasure trove to uncover their fascinating stories.

Senior Librarian Gracie Lee explores a book of Chinese surnames written for the Straits Chinese of Malaya and Singapore during the 1920s.

Years ago, during a trip to China, an immigration officer at the airport asked me, “Why do Singaporeans have such long names?” Like many Chinese Singaporeans of my generation, the official name on my older-issued passport has my Chinese name in both dialect and hanyu pinyin. While commonplace in Singapore…


This is part of our series of COVID-19 stories to showcase submissions received from our ongoing “Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore” community call, which aims to preserve the everyday stories and experiences of Singaporeans affected by the pandemic.

Associate librarian Rebecca Tan shares stories of the volunteer work carried out by individuals and groups amid the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives and turned our priorities upside down. While scientists spent most of 2020 trying to pin down how the virus worked and create a vaccine to eradicate it, we were repeatedly told that frequent hand washing and practising…


Back in May 2015, we launched a glitzy showcase celebrating the golden age of Malay films with a scintillating array of movie-related books, movie magazines and replicas of big screen memorabilia. It hailed a bygone era when Singapore was a thriving hub of filmmaking in the region. Librarian Michelle Heng takes us back to this incredible time in our history and reignites our interest in filmmaking in Singapore.

I first came across screen siren Saloma when she appeared in a cameo along with her reel-life (and real life) partner P. Ramlee in a television re-run of the Shaw Brothers’ Chinese-language…

National Library Singapore

Singapore’s premier resource centre for materials on or about Singapore and the region.

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