“The Legacy of Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian” exhibition was launched on 18 July 2008. This tells the story of two of Singapore’s most well-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists, who had such a big heart for charity that their names live on till today. Do visit the exhibition at Level 10 of the National Library and find out how the generosity of these philanthropists made a positive difference to the lives of so many people. The exhibition is on till 31 December 2008.
In this issue, you will find a research article written by our Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow, Tran Ky-Phuong. In his article titled “Interactions Between Uplands and Lowlands Through the ‘Riverine Exchange Network’: An Exploration of the Historical Cultural Landscape of Central Vietnam”, Tran Ky-Phoung explained how exchanges between people on the Thu Bon river basin and the ‘salt roads’ laid the economic and political foundations of Central Vietnam. If you would like to find out how you can apply for the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship, the brochure and application form are available for download at https://www.nlb.gov.sg/main/home (click on “Site Map”, followed by “Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship”).
To remember the late David Marshall, whose birthday was exactly 100 years ago, we present the article “Icon of Justice: Highlights of the Life of David Saul Marshall (1908–1995)” written by Ang Seow Leng, Senior Librarian, National Library. This is a heart-warming piece. It celebrates the life and accomplishments of Singapore’s first Chief Minister.
This issue also features the Gibson-Hill Collection, a Malayan treasure containing rare collections on birds, boats and ships, travels and voyages, and accounts on early Malaya. Dr Carl Alexander Gibson-Hill (1911–1963) was the Director of the Raffles Museum (now called the Singapore History Museum) from 1958 to 1962. During his lifetime, he acquired a valuable collection in the fields of history, art, archaeology, zoology and ornithology. His collection was purchased by Mrs Loke Yew, mother of Dato Loke Wan Tho (1915–1964), the first Chairman of the National Library Board from 1960 to 1964, and an influential businessman of his time, heading the Cathay Organisation chain of cinemas. Mrs Loke presented the collection to the National Library in June 1965. At the time of its purchase, the Gibson-Hill Collection was considered one of the most outstanding private collections of its kind in this part of the world.
The other collection we have highlighted in this issue is the Lim Kong Thing Collection. This was donated to the National Library in 2007 by Mr Lim’s youngest son, Mr Lin Qiong, a retired teacher and writer. The collection comprises some 800 pages of Chinese documents offering an insight into the Chinese diaspora of pre-WW2 Malaya and Southeast Asia during the first half of the 20th century. The collection has been digitised for easier online access.
We are also pleased to announce the launch of the architectural book “The National Library of Singapore: Redefining the Library” on 22 July 2008. The book illustrates what makes the National Library building a green building in Singapore. It is available for sale and details can be found on page 43.
We hope you will enjoy reading this issue. Do send us your valuable comments and feedback.
Ms Ngian Lek Choh