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Publications

Through our publications, we aim to present recent research into museological approaches and curatorial analyses, as well as to showcase our rich collections and reach out to diverse audiences. Our publications can be purchased from our Museum Label shop, selected bookstores in Singapore, or through the links below.

Museology and Research

Dome in the City: The Story of the National Museum of Singapore (2016)

Our official guidebook looks at the museum’s transformation over the years, with a focus on its history, collection and building. Through photos from the museum’s collection and intriguing lesser-known stories, this book provides a refreshing take on the oldest purpose-built museum in Singapore and celebrates its special role in the nation’s cultural and heritage scene.

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(Re)Presenting Histories: Experiences and Perspectives from the National Museum of Singapore (2017)

In celebration of the nation’s Golden Jubilee, the National Museum of Singapore re-opened in September 2015 after an extensive revamp of its permanent galleries. Featuring interactive, contextual displays and immersive experiences, the updated galleries seek to both represent and re- present Singapore’s rich culture and history, and encourage meaningful connections and conversations with its visitors. This book is an intimate glimpse into the experiences and perspectives of the National Museum’s curatorial team, as they undertook this ambitious project over the course of one year.

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National Museum of Singapore 130 th Anniversary Gift Set (2017)

On 12 October 1887, the Raffles Library and Museum on Stamford Road first opened its doors to the public. To commemorate the 130th anniversary of this momentous occasion, the National Museum has put together 50 reproductions of key photographs, postcards and building plans, each carefully chosen for its significance, from our collection accumulated over the years. Designed by renowned local designer Theseus Chan and his agency WORK, this exclusive box set is an homage to the museum’s early beginnings, and a celebration of the journey that the museum – and Singapore – has taken over the past 130 years.

Available exclusively at the MUSEUM LABEL shop.

Entertainment: Forms of Leisure in Singapore 1920s – 1970s (2017)

A visual feast of images from the rich collections of the National Museum of Singapore. From the site-specific Entertainment Parks, to cinema, radio and music, author and curator Vidya Murthy takes readers on a nostalgic journey through these early forms of recreation. First-person accounts bring memories to life, while insightful texts show how leisure practices emerged in the era of early modernity rel="noopener noreferrer" in Singapore.

Available exclusively at the MUSEUM LABEL shop.

Wartime Kitchen: Food and Eating in Singapore 1942 – 1950 (2006)

This popular book captures the resilience and adaptability of a people faced with limited resources and shortages during the Japanese Occupation and post-war Singapore. Presenting in-depth research alongside anecdotes, personal reminiscences and a collection of wartime recipes and food- related vignettes, Wartime Kitchen vividly documents a crucial decade in Singapore’s history with a particular emphasis on eating – an activity famously high in the priorities of Singaporeans.

Available exclusively at the MUSEUM LABEL shop.

Exhibition Catalogues

Treasures of the World (2016)

Published in conjunction with the Treasures of the World from the British Museum exhibition in December 2015, this catalogue brings together over 200 exceptional objects from the collection of the British Museum. They come from all parts of the world and encompass a great range of historical periods – the oldest object displayed was made 800,000 years ago and the most recent dates to 2013. Together, these artworks and artefacts embody an extraordinary variety of human experience.

Available exclusively at the MUSEUM LABEL shop.

Witness to War (2017)

In September 2017, the National Museum launched Witness to War: Remembering 1942, a special international exhibition to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore. This catalogue and compendium features key artefact highlights and 14 moving stories of rel="noopener noreferrer" ordinary men and women who rel="noopener noreferrer" braved the fall of Singapore in extraordinary ways.

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Exhibiting the Fall: Close Readings of a Global Event (2018)

In conjunction with Witness to War, an international conference – Exhibiting the Fall: Remembering and Representing War and Its Aftermath in Asia – was held at the museum on 4 & 5 September 2017. The conference brought international academics and museum practitioners together in conversation about the ways in which Asia’s violent mid-20th-century history is understood and represented. It was co-organised with the War Memoryscapes in Asia Partnership (WARMAP), an international, interdisciplinary network of academic specialists rel="noopener noreferrer" funded by the Leverhulme rel="noopener noreferrer" Trust. This publication is a collection of papers rel="noopener noreferrer" presented at the conference.

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What is Not Visible is Not Invisible (2018)

This bilingual catalogue was published following the What is Not Visible is Not Invisible exhibition featuring the FRAC collections in Asia. It presents the genesis, process and artworks from the exhibition, rel="noopener noreferrer" which was showcased rel="noopener noreferrer" in Singapore at the National Museum, as well as rel="noopener noreferrer" Seoul and Bangkok from 6 October rel="noopener noreferrer" 2016 to 26 July 2017.

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An Old New World (2019)

Organised in conjunction with Singapore’s Bicentennial, An Old New World explores the 200 years leading up to the establishment of an entrepôt in Singapore in 1819, beginning with the bustling world of trade in the East Indies that attracted the Dutch and British East India Companies from the early 17th century. The European entry into the region, for better or worse, was only rel="noopener noreferrer" part of its longer history. rel="noopener noreferrer" This exhibition is a telling of that story, and a rel="noopener noreferrer" reflection of the broader rel="noopener noreferrer" forces at play that culminated rel="noopener noreferrer" in the events of 1819.

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Encounters & Connected Histories (2020)

In September 2019, the National Museum of Singapore launched An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600s−1819, a special exhibition held in commemoration of Singapore’s Bicentennial, as well as organised an international conference entitled Encounters & Connected Histories: Prelude to 1819.

The conference brought international academics and museum practitioners together to explore Singapore’s founding as an East India Company entrepôt in 1819, within the overall theme of the sea as a historical passageway, and the interactions between the overseas trading companies and local communities in the two centuries before 1819. This book is inspired by An Old New World and the papers presented at the conference, and the many discussions they generated.

Coming soon to the MUSEUM LABEL shop.

Children's Book

Get Curious! (2019)

This official family guide to the National rel="noopener noreferrer" Museum of Singapore rel="noopener noreferrer" covers four galleries, and is packed with interactive rel="noopener noreferrer" activities for over 40 rel="noopener noreferrer" objects, bringing the stories rel="noopener noreferrer" of our past alive for rel="noopener noreferrer" children and their families.

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