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The skeleton of a blue whale was once the centrepiece of the former Raffles Museum. What happened to it?
From the melting pot of cultures and language in postwar Singapore came the search for a Malayan identity, negotiated and presented through multilingualism.
David Lim led the first Singapore team to successfully summit Mount Everest in 1998. This is an excerpt from his book, Mountain to Climb.
The 1950s was the heyday for Malay comic books published in Singapore.
Although short in stature, footballer Chia Boon Leong was a force to be reckoned with.
Places and Buildings
Kampong living reflects an idyllic bygone age, a time when life was much simpler.
The family home of architect Lee Kip Lin has stood the test of time with its simple and yet modern design. His wife, Mrs Lee Li-ming, shares her insights.
The history of the Salvation Army in Singapore goes back to at least 1935.
Introducing five new books available in the National Library’s collection.
The late architect William Lim did more than shape Singapore’s skyline. He was also deeply passionate about urban planning, culture, the arts.
Although Talentime has been replaced by reality talent contests, it will be remembered as a show that launched the musical careers of many Singaporeans.
Places and buildings
A look back at John Little’s 170-year history and the lasting mark the store has made on our island.
Disguised as local fishermen, Australian and British commandos launched a clandestine raid on Japanese ships in Singapore’s Keppel Harbour.
Natural history drawings might seem clinical and cold, but an unlikely medium pulls back the curtains to find the humanity behind them.
The 7th SEAP Games marked the first time that Singapore hosted an international sporting event since gaining independence in 1965.
Professor Yu, who used to teach at the Royal College of Music in London, plays on the refurbished Chappell grand at the National Library.
A world-renowned pianist described this concert grand of the Victoria Memorial Hall as a "cooking pot and a frying pan". How did it have such a reputation?
Opposing the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, Indonesia waged a three-year armed conflict against Malaysia and Singapore.
Film and Photography
Besides restoring made-in-Singapore films, the Asian Film Archive is also involved in the preservation of other seminal Asian works.
The visit by Qing officials to Singapore in 1876 led to the establishment of the first Chinese consulate here a year later.
What does it take to write an internationally acclaimed historical novel set in Singapore?
Printing in Singapore dates back 200 years with the establishment of a press by Christian missionaries.
The Orang Seletar used to live on boats that plied the Johor Strait. They were here when Raffles landed in 1819.
Two ancient gold coins, probably from Aceh, were discovered in Singapore in the middle of the 19th century. Unfortunately, they disappeared a few decades later.
Uncle Choo masterminded Singapore’s famous Malaysia Cup victory in 1977. Four decades after his death, we remember his many contributions to the sport.
Librarian Janice Loo profiles those buried or memorialised at the Kranji War Cemetery, such as Lt Adnan of the Malay Regiment and civilian fighter Sim Chin Foo.
We remember some legendary players of the interwar years who left an indelible mark on the local football scene.
Nature and the Environment
A blue whale skeleton took centre stage at the former Raffles Museum for more than 60 years before it was gifted to the National Museum of Malaysia in 1974.
Singapore used to be a major recording centre in Southeast Asia, with over 10,000 local recordings made before 1960.
A grand piano that was to be the pride of Singapore failed to silence its critics. The odds, however, were always against it.
Researcher William L. Gibson undertakes a pilgrimage into the archives to uncover the history of the keramat on Kusu Island.
A forgotten manuscript found in a Portuguese museum offers insights into the languages and traditions of a unique community in the Dutch East Indies.
Librarian Lim Tin Seng rediscovers Singapore’s first island resort getaway and solves various mysteries surrounding it, including where Sarong Island is now.
Crash helmets might save lives but getting people to wear them was an uphill task.
There’s more to firewalking than the public display of religious devotion.
The call for Singaporeans to switch from eating rice to eating wheat in 1967 did not take root despite best efforts by the government.
video: From Book to Cook
What does a 1969 Chinese recipe for noodles have to do with a murukku press?
Stone tools have been found in and around Singapore since the late 19th century, but much about them remains a mystery.
As the history of the company shows, its new name is less about breaking away from the past as it is about leaping confidently into the future.
Two tennis greats won 9 Malaya Cups and 12 Singapore Championships between them before the war. Who were they?
The story of Operation Jaywick, a daring attack on Japanese ships at Keppel Harbour in September 1943, is retold in a comic aimed at boys.
A beloved condiment in Southeast Asia, belacan has been called rank and disgusting. Learn about its long history.
The house that Lee Kip Lin built has stood the test of time, reflecting its simple yet modern and clean design.
Three large murals used to grace the walls of Paya Lebar Airport, depicting scenes from Singapore and Malaysia. Only one is left.
Award-winning writer Ng Yi-Sheng tells us about the legends and worship of local goddesses Maiden Lin, Maiden Lei and Maiden Huang.
Kampong Wak Sumang, one of Singapore’s earliest fishing villages, was purportedly founded by a warrior-diplomat whose musical abilities landed him in trouble.
A story about Wak Sumang, a man of great wisdom and many talents, and the founder of Kampong Punggol.
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army used forced civilian labourers, known as rōmusha, to build the infamous Thai-Burma Railway.
Once dotted with plantations and mangrove swamps, Pasir Ris is today a bustling residential town with modern facilities and amenities.
Film, Sound and Photography
In this extract from the book From Keroncong to Xinyao, the author looks at why the record industry in Singapore took off in the 1960s.
The collective sale and conservation of Golden Mile Complex will restore a visionary building designed for a “new look Singapore” 50 years ago.
Money No Enough, Forever Fever and The Teenage Textbook Movie are prime candidates for restoration.
Unique greeting cards collected by a giant in the Malay literary scene. (From the National Library’s Blog on Medium).
A quick look at five new books available in the National Library’s collection.
Kevin Tan looks at what makes the 4.3-hectare patch of green in front of the former City Hall building so special.
Fermented shrimp is a staple in many cuisines of Southeast Asia, though it takes some getting used to.
Singapore’s former Parliament building, known today as The Arts House, was used as a courthouse from 1828 to 1939.
The Singapore Teachers’ Union wanted a clubhouse. They ended up building a housing estate.
While Portugal may not have had a large presence in this region, remnants of the Portuguese language continue to linger on, in some places more than others.
The opening up of Lim Chu Kang owes much to the efforts of Neo Tiew, who helped clear the land and later became the headman of the area.
Three public bathhouses at Ellenborough Market, Canton Street and Clyde Terrace were built by the Municipality in the late 19th century.
The humble typewriter helped women become better educated, enter the workforce and contribute to society.
Two remarkable athletes served up a storm to make Malaya a tennis power to contend with during the interwar years.
A showcase of items from the Chinese community relating to the Japanese Occupation. These are from the collection of the National Library of Singapore.
A quick look at four new books available in the National Library’s collection.
nature and environment
Stone tools have been found in and around Singapore since the late 19th century. Much about them remains a mystery.
Before the fall of Singapore in 1942, people stocked up on food, built air raid shelters and volunteered in civil defence units.
The Asian Film Archive has been restoring old classics since 2014.
The local Taoist pantheon includes goddesses only found in Singapore, such as Lin Guniang, Lei Niangniang and Huang Guniang.
Pilgrimages to the keramat on Kusu Island have been going on since the mid-19th century.
Some Chinese bookstores in Singapore have managed to survive despite the challenges of the digital age and the decline in Chinese readers.
A gentle giant with a larger than life personality, Subaraj Rajathurai helped to save Singapore’s green spaces.
More than just the firewalking festival, Theemithi has a cycle of rituals that involves the re-enactment of events from the Mahabharatam over several months.
In the post-World War II period, Singapore was a battleground for ideological competition between the Soviet Union and China, and the US and UK.
While best known as a giant in the movie business in Malaya, Loke Wan Tho was also passionate about bird photography and the arts
Thaipusam speaks of a migratory community that carries its deep-rooted cultural tradition wherever its people go.
Before there was Sentosa, there was Sarong Island.
While the Monetary Authority of Singapore was established in 1971, it only became a full-fledged central bank some 30 years later.
Singapore’s family planning programme did not start with the “Stop at Two” policy in 1972, but goes back even earlier to 1949.
Located in Bras Basah Complex, the Chinese bookstore has played an important role in the development of the Chinese literary scene.
When Queen Elizabeth II visited Singapore in 1972, the orchid Dendrobium Elizabeth was named in her honour.
Celebrations during a royal wedding in Tanjung Pinang in 1819 led to a terrible misunderstanding that would change the course of history in Riau and Singapore.
The 1970s saw communist bombings, assassination plots and covert information wars.
The story of how Johor ended up at the Chicago World’s Fair is an unexpected twist in Malaya’s colonial past.
places and buildings
The closing of Cathay cinema at Handy Road, one of Singapore’s oldest cinemas, marks the end of an era.
Chinese Buddhist women set up popular vegetarian restaurants in the 1940s and '50s that met the needs of local Buddhists and also helped promote vegetarianism.
The National Library's collection has items from the Chinese community relating to the Japanese Occupation of Singapore.
Established in 1972, Singapore Airlines is known for its impeccable service standards and luxurious in-flight experiences.
Singapore has been burrowing underground since the 19th century, but it was only after Independence that serious efforts were made to use subterranean space.
It was once Singapore’s largest planned housing development and saw action during Konfrontasi in the 1960s.
Chinese and Japanese photography studios had to negotiate the politics of race, class and clan in the early 20th century.
Video: stories from biblioasia
Cabaret dancers like Rose Chan were famous. But what were their lives really like?
Wet markets have existed in Singapore since 1825. Zoe Yeo looks at how these markets have changed over time.
Video: Stories from BiblioAsia
He writes Singapore’s first book-length poem, then vanishes from history. Discover how the mystery of the missing poet was solved.