Welcome to the brand new year of 2009!
In this issue, we are delighted to bring to you exciting articles penned by our Research Fellows and Reference Librarians. Mr Lim Peng Han’s article entitled “Singapore, an Emerging Centre of 19th Century Malay School Book Printing and Publishing in the Straits Settlements, 1819–1899: Identifying the Four Phases of Development” highlights how the Malay press flourished owing to the pro-education policies of Sir Stamford Raffles.
Ms Kartini Saparudin sheds new insights into a different facet of Malay publishing, that of Malay Women’s and Men’s Magazines of the 1950s. Magazine publishing was a means of imparting moral values amongst the Malay community. Her article “A History more Refined: Malay Women’s and Men’s magazines of the 1950s in Singapore and Malaya” provides a glimpse of Malay publishing 100 years after. Ms Sundusia Rosdi adds to the discourse with her collection highlight on the Jawi Peranakkan Collection. Through highlighting the National Library’s collection, she shows how the first Malay newspapers published between 1876 and 1895 catapulted Singapore to become the hub of Malay culture and literature in the region.
Ms Yeo Guan Nor peeks into her family history in her article “A Glimpse of His Past: Yeo Chan Boon (1881-1967)”. It narrates the story of her late grandfather, a China-born overseas Chinese in Singapore who incidentally was one of the founding members of the Singapore branch of the Revolutionary Alliance at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. The Lee Kong Chian Reference Library houses several special collections with over 240,000 materials. It is a treasure trove for patrons who are interested in researching their family roots. Our reference and research specialists would be more than happy to assist you in tracing your family history. Please ask us.
Another of our Research Fellow, Ms Phoon Kwee Hian, in her article “新加坡华文现代主义文学 运动研究” unearthed the history of Chinese Modernist Literature movement in post-independence Singapore. She had extensively used newspaper resources and literary supplements of Nanyang Siang Pau namely* Literary Page, *Literary Miscellany, Café and Window and the Malaysian literary magazine Chao Foon Monthly as case studies. Her research into our Donor Collection from Mr Tan Swie Hian helped to surface new evidences on the growth of modernist literature movement in post-war Singapore. Do apply for the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship to have access to our unique donor and special collections. The brochure and application forms are available for download at https://www.nlb.gov.sg/main/home. Please click on “Site Map”, followed by “Lee Kong Chain Research Fellowship”.
Whilst you are at the National Library, do take the opportunity to visit the exhibition on “Behind Street Names: Prominent People of Early Singapore”. Drawing on the Koh Seow Chuan Collection of legal documents and maps, the exhibition profiles the personalities from which the streets are named after. This is held on Level 10 of the National Library till 15 March 2009. Do read about these personalities in the article by Mr Mazelan Anuar on page 31.
At Level 10 of the National Library, you will also find the “Marshall of Singapore: The Extraordinary Life & Times of David Saul Marshall (1908–1995)” exhibition at the Promenade. Jointly put up by the National Library Board and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, it is held till 20 February 2009.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue and look forward to your comments and feedback.