The National Library Board launched a National Essay Competition and the “Singapore: The First Ten Years of Independence” guide on 29 March 2008. The essay competition and guide aim to help younger Singaporeans understand and learn about the challenges and contributions of the first Cabinet of the Republic of Singapore formed in 1965. The essay competition is targeted at secondary school students and will be held from 29 March to 20 June 2008. If you wish to participate, please log on to https://www.nlb.gov.sg/main/home for more details.
In this issue, Bouchaib Silm, one of the National Library’s researchers has written an article titled “Reviving the Silk Road and the Role of Singapore”. It looks into how Singapore can take advantage of its global reputation in the region to bridge Asia and the Middle East. This role can become significant as the latter has the great potential to rise as a new global economic power.
Also in this issue, we feature a second article by Clement Liew, a PhD candidate at the National Institute of Education. In the article, he provided a detailed account of how indigenous ethnic Chinese and dialectal groups founded their own Catholic parish from 1888 to 1935.
In another feature, “Eyes on Nature: The Glorious Periods of Picturing Natural History”, we bring you on a journey to rediscover the beautiful world of plants, animals and nature created as images for documentation and study. It is refreshing to see how the scientific study of nature resulted in the creation of a rich collection of pictures in the late 18th century when advanced printing methods were first introduced.
One of our Lee Kong Chian Research Fellows, Leander Seah, has written an extract of his paper that he had presented upon completion of his Fellowship with the National Library. Entitled “Conceptualizing the Chinese World: Jinan University, Lee Kong Chian and the Nanyang Connection 1900–1942”, Leander shares with us his understanding of the Chinese world by taking the unconventional approach of examining the history of Jinan University and the experiences of a few of its outstanding students such as the late philanthropist, Dr Lee Kong Chian. If you wish to find out details on joining the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship, the brochure and application form are available for download at https://www.nlb.gov.sg/main/home
Following our introduction of Hikayat Abdullah, the autobiography of Munshi Abdullah Abdul Kadir, in the previous issue, we are pleased to present you with interesting stories recorded in Hikayat Abdullah, translated from Jawi. This issue highlights the landing of Colonel Farquhar in Singapore. Another article in this issue of BiblioAsia highlights the musical contributions of Edwin Arthur Brown to Singapore in the early 20th century.
After the KaalaChakra (‘Wheel of Time’) exhibition on the early Indian Influences in Southeast Asia, the National Library will be staging another epic exhibition on the legacy of Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian and their contributions to Singapore and Malaysia. It will be held at Level 10 of the National Library from 18 July 2008. In this issue, our two research trips to Lee Kong Chian’s enterprises in Johore, Malaysia, in preparation for the exhibition, are described in a news article.
We are also pleased to announce the launch of the “French Corner” located on Level 7 of the National Library on 28 March 2008. The collection, which is financially contributed by the French Government, includes titles on classical French literary works, philosophy, humanities and the social sciences.
The National Library Board subscribes to more than 140 electronic databases and you can access a large number of them at the privacy of your home or from your office. In this second instalment, we feature electronic databases beginning with the letters ‘B’ and ‘C’. Do look out for the other electronic resources in subsequent issues.
In the meantime, please keep your comments and feedback coming. We look forward to seeing you at the National Library.
Ms Ngian Lek Choh