Building Singapore’s national identity through Books

An interview with ANUAR, Hedwig (Mrs) @ Hedwig Elizabeth

3 Nov 1998, The Public Service – A Retrospection 新加坡公共服务史, Accession Number 002036, Reel/Disc 36, 00:30:23

Elaboration on how National Library helped to build national identity in the ’60s.

And could you elaborate on how the National Library helped to build the national identity in the sixties?

Well, I would say its partly through the collection itself. That we had this special collection on Singapore and Southeast Asia and particularly the books on Singapore we would buy plenty of copies of those. Any books on Singapore, the publishers would be very pleased because we do buy more than other libraries that might buy one or two copies. But we would buy 10 or more. Books by local writers, books on history, politics and the economy whatever on Singapore would have special preference. We had this booklist about books about Singapore, which has done every two years.

Then Singapore National Bibliography, again that would help to let the libraries and booksellers to know what books were published in Singapore and would hopefully buy these books. Exhibitions, national campaigns, we always supported them with our exhibitions, our own booklists. The exhibitions would be opened by a minister or a politician of some kind.

References:

National Archives of Singapore, Oral History interviews @ Archives online

ANUAR, Hedwig (Mrs) @ Hedwig Elizabeth The Public Service – A Retrospection 新加坡公共服务史, Accession Number 002036

http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/viewer?uuid=28b6fbf9-1160-11e3-83d5-0050568939ad-OHC002036_036

http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/oral_history_interviews/record-details/28b6fbf9-1160-11e3-83d5-0050568939ad?keywords=national%20identity&keywords-type=all

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