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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Singapore History: Research & Resources

Today, I received the following course announcement:
Singapore History: Research & Resources

"NLB Academy is pleased to conduct the seminar "Singapore History: Research & Resources" on 1 & 2 Nov 2011. This two-day seminar is intended as an introduction to handling Singapore reference enquiries or for researchers new to Singapore history.  

The first day will be dedicated to an introduction to Singapore history and includes a visit to the National Museum Singapore’s History Gallery.
With the background from day one, participants will be taken on a brief tour through the various sources of published information available on the second day with a focus on what types of information can be found in these sources and how to use them in your search for the forgotten. "Singapore History: Research & ResourcesI think it is not possible for all who has an interest in Singapore History to attend the two day seminar, and here is something free that may served as a good alternative guide online.
Course Outline:
Day 1
**AM: Singapore history in deeds and print
**PM: A stroll through the Museum

Day 2
**AM: A tour of history sources
**PM: Using sources
**PM: Reading between the lines: interpretations, biases and ‘facts’

Some insight to the Course Outline:

(1) List basic sources(Turnbull, Buckley, Song Ong Siang, Singapore Encyclopedia etc) & their limitations
***(a) overview of basic tools for People, Places, Events
***(b) overview of key resources using layout of Singapore & SEA Collection including references to bibliographies, newspapers, digital resources, infopedia

(2) Outline of Singapore history@ Singapore History Museum

(3) History of LKCRL’s collections– highlights of
***(a) 1823
***(b) 1878 – 1941 (i.e. Logan/Rost, Raffles Collection, MBRAS)
***(c) preservation during the war
***(d) 1950s - separation of Raffles Museum/establishing National Library
***(e) 1960s – SEA Room and its significance, LD (see below)
***(f) 1995 – NLB and its goals
***(g) 2005 – New National Library and its goals, Singapore and SEA Collection
[Refer to bibliography of National Library listing for further readings]
-***** Legal Deposit (LD) – purpose of LD, its functions, print LD, electronic LD, accessibility
-***** Donor Collections - purpose of soliciting donations, importance of primary materials, significant donations made to date.

(4) Other Singapore collections including accessibility issues
***(a) NUS (Singapore/Malaysia Collection)
***(b) National Archives (records vs published)
***(c) other institutions (eg. Religious bodies, clan associations)
***(d) overseas institutions (ie US - CORMOSEA, UK – British Library, Netherlands (Leiden) – for East Indies)
***(e) highlights of new collections ie Donor Collection and emphasis on Singapore heritage both published and records


The above course is useful, yet not many will have the chance of attending it.  Hence, I think the alternative source available online will be a good research guide for those who need the resources from time to time.

I like the following select bibliography by NUS librarians:

I think most of us who like to read Singapore History would like the nostalgic cover page (cover designer: Wong Kah Wei).

The scratch of Singapore River without boat in water colour painting overlayed with a Stamp of Old Singapore River crowded with many bun boats along Boat Quay really reflects the changes of Singapore through our years of Nation Building.

The Internet edition with the copyright date "2002" is compiled and edited by Tim Yap Fuan.

It is "Based on the printed edition published in 1998 compiled by Tim Yap Fuan * Lee Ching Seng * Lee-Wang Cheng Yeng, Ong-Tang Sou Chan * Tham Wai Fong * Vimala Nambiar."

Many of the Librarians who contributed in the printed edition already retired from NUS library.  This select bibliography compiled with their input as NUS librarians make me see the value of librarianship: Work on bibliograhpy etc by librarians are eternal in information dissemination.  The values in their work is beyond their years of service.

Now, let us look at the structure of the select bibliography:
A Sense of History: a select bibliography on the history of Singapore

Table of Contents

Official Records

Parliamentary Records

Books, Chapters-in-Books & Journal Articles
---Landscape & The Physical Environment
---Law, Government & Politics 
---Social Life and Conditions 

*Temasek & Pre-Modern Singapore
*Founding of Modern Singapore, 1819-1826
*Singapore, 1826-1867
*Singapore, 1867-1914
*Singapore, 1914-1941
*Singapore, 1941-1945
---Pre-War Defense Strategy
---The Military Campaign
---The Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945
---The Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945: Personal Accounts

*Singapore, 1945-1955: Aftermath of War
*Singapore, 1955-1965: Self-Government, Merger & Separation 
*Singapore, 1965- : Independence & Nation-Building
---Demography & Population
---Landscape & The Physical Environment
---Labour, Trade Unions & Industrial Relations
---Social Security & Welfare
---Public Health & Healthcare
---Defense & Foreign Affairs
---Law, Government & Politics
---Bureaucracy & The Civil Service
---The Press & Mass Media
---Social Life & Conditions
---Ageing & The Aged
---Culture & The Arts
---Science, Technology & Industrial Research
Chinese Language Materials
Japanese Language Materials

To explore the resources, you may need days and months or years of hard work! 

So, just visit the website and you are on your way to understand the history of Singapore in more depth!


Dexterine Ho

1 comment:

LED Grow Lights said...

The best place to learn about Singapore, esp. history of the ... but as a young country, it has a story to tell ... I like the construction of the museum, with a dome and courtyard around. Nothing too special, but that it is elegant, large and very clean