New Books on Singapore History
A quick look at four new books available in the National Library’s collection.
Singapore's Stone Tools
Stone tools have been found in and around Singapore since the late 19th century. Much about them remains a mystery.
In Their Own Voices: Preparing for War in Singapore
Before the fall of Singapore in 1942, people stocked up on food, built air raid shelters and volunteered in civil defence units.
Repairing and Restoring Singapore's Reel Heritage
The Asian Film Archive has been restoring old classics since 2014.
The Divine Lance: Thaipusam and Murugan Worship in Singapore
Thaipusam speaks of a migratory community that carries its deep-rooted cultural tradition wherever its people go.
Maiden Lim and Her Sisters: Taoist Folk Goddesses of S'pore
The local Taoist pantheon includes goddesses only found in Singapore, such as Lin Guniang, Lei Niangniang and Huang Guniang.
The Origin Stories of Keramat Kusu
Pilgrimages to the keramat on Kusu Island have been going on since the mid-19th century.
“Book City” in Two Streets: Postwar Chinese Bookstore Scene
Some Chinese bookstores in Singapore have managed to survive despite the challenges of the digital age and the decline in Chinese readers.
A Voice for the Wild
A gentle giant with a larger than life personality, Subaraj Rajathurai helped to save Singapore’s green spaces.
Rituals behind Firewalking
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.
Cold War Rivalries in Singapore in the 1940s and 1950s
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.
Loke Wan Tho: The Man Who Built Cathay
While best known as a giant in the movie business in Malaya, Loke Wan Tho was also passionate about bird photography and the arts
From Sarong Island with Love
Before there was Sentosa, there was Sarong Island.
The Making of the Monetary Authority of Singapore
While the Monetary Authority of Singapore was established in 1971, it only became a full-fledged central bank some 30 years later.
The Early Days of Family Planning in Singapore
Singapore’s family planning programme did not start with the “Stop at Two” policy in 1972, but goes back even earlier to 1949.
Union Book Stands Tall At 70
Located in Bras Basah Complex, the Chinese bookstore has played an important role in the development of the Chinese literary scene.
Flower Power: Singapore’s Orchid Diplomacy
When Queen Elizabeth II visited Singapore in 1972, the orchid Dendrobium Elizabeth was named in her honour.
A Royal Wedding Gone Wrong
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.
Johor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
The story of how Johor ended up at the Chicago World’s Fair is an unexpected twist in Malaya’s colonial past.
Key Milestones in the History of Cathay Cinema
The closing of Cathay cinema at Handy Road, one of Singapore’s oldest cinemas, marks the end of an era.
Chinese Vegetarian Restaurants
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.
A Great Way to Fly
Established in 1972, Singapore Airlines is known for its impeccable service standards and luxurious in-flight experiences.
Manmade Tunnels and Caverns Underground in the City State
Singapore has been burrowing underground since the 19th century, but it was only after Independence that serious efforts were made to use subterranean space.
A History of Sennett Estate
It was once Singapore’s largest planned housing development and saw action during Konfrontasi in the 1960s.
Japanese and Chinese Photo Studios in Prewar Singapore
Chinese and Japanese photography studios had to negotiate the politics of race, class and clan in the early 20th century.
Giving a Voice to the Dead: Remembering Chao Tzee Cheng
As a forensic pathologist, Chao Tzee Cheng helped bring murderers to justice.
Into the Night
Cabaret dancers like Rose Chan were famous. But what were their lives really like?
The Story of Singapore’s Changing Wet Markets
Wet markets have existed in Singapore since 1825. Zoe Yeo looks at how these markets have changed over time.
The Poet and the Night Train
He writes Singapore’s first book-length poem, then vanishes from history. Discover how the mystery of the missing poet was solved.
A cooking show that dishes out history from old recipes
What does a 1969 Chinese recipe for noodles have to do with a murukku press?
Cinema Pioneer Tan Cheng Kee
The Alhambra and Marlborough theatres were famous landmarks in pre-war Singapore. Barbara Quek looks at these cinemas, and the man behind the curtain.
My Grandfather Was a Rōmusha
During World War II, forced civilian labourers known as rōmusha were used by the Imperial Japanese Army for hard labour.