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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 Supermama, The Museum Store at the museum, 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.

$25

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

(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.

$25

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

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.

$40

Available exclusively at Supermama, The Museum Store.

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 in Singapore.

$35

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

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.

$35

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

In the Mood for Cheongsam (2012)

Spanning almost a century, this book tells the story of the changing social roles of Singapore women from the turn of the 20th century to present day by looking at the history and development of the traditional cheongsam, the female wearers, their fashion options, and the economic, political and social conditions that dictate their decisions through the decades.

$30

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store.

 

The Letters of Sir Stamford Raffles to His Sister Mary Anne Flint (2021)

The letters of Sir Stamford Raffles to his sister, Mary Anne Flint, are preserved in the Raffles Family Collection in the British Library, London. They are among the most interesting of his private letters, containing primary information on Singapore during its early years as a British settlement, and on Bengkulu when Raffles was Lieutenant-Governor of Fort Marlborough in charge of the East India Company’s settlements in west Sumatra.
The letters reflect Raffles’s deep affection for his sister, whose life was closely associated with his in Penang, Melaka, Java, Bengkulu, Singapore and London – an association which continued with Lady Raffles, whose letters to her sister-in-law form Part Two of the book. The letters in this volume are annotated with incisive commentary by historian John Bastin, and complemented by images from the National Museum of Singapore and other key collections.

$48

Currently available at Supermama, The Museum Store.

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.

$33

Available exclusively at Supermama, The Museum Store.

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 ordinary men and women who braved the fall of Singapore in extraordinary ways.

$16

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.
 

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 funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This publication is a collection of papers presented at the conference.

$35

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

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, which was showcased in Singapore at the National Museum, as well as Seoul and Bangkok from 6 October 2016 to 26 July 2017.

$15

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

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 part of its longer history. This exhibition is a telling of that story, and a reflection of the broader forces at play that culminated in the events of 1819.

$35

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.


 

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.

$25

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

Home, Truly: Growing Up with Singapore, 1950s to the Present (2020)

Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the National Museum of Singapore, this book explores the key shared experiences and moments from the 1950s till today that speak to who we are as Singapore and Singaporeans. Presented from the perspective of personal memories and how they intersect with national events, some of these might bring a smile to our faces, others reveal tensions that arise from living together, and still others recall the different moments that have changed and shaped us over the years. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with The Straits Times in conjunction with its 175th anniversary. It invites you to consider what makes Singapore our home, and aims to spark conversations about Singapore’s past, present and future.

$23.90

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

Changi Chapel & Museum: Remembering the Internees and Legacies of Changi (2021)

The newly revamped Changi Chapel and Museum reopened in May 2021, and commemorates the prisoners of war (POWs) and civilians interned in Singapore’s Changi prison camp from 1942 to 1945. The World War Two interpretative site is managed by the National Museum of Singapore.
Featuring essays and key insights from the exhibition’s curators, personal stories, and highlight artefacts from each zone, this catalogue offers an intimate glimpse into the POW and civilian internee experience during the three and a half years of Japanese military occupation. Each of the featured stories and artefacts serves as a witness to the challenges of life in captivity, and as a testimony to the internees’ resilience and fortitude in those turbulent times.

$35

Available at Changi Chapel & Museum; Supermama, The Museum Store; or purchase here.

Children's Titles

Get Curious! (2019)

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

$24.90

Available at Supermama, The Museum Store, or purchase here.

 

Early Learning Resources

Visit our permanent galleries and play spot-the-artefact! Our Early Learning Resources introduce pre-schoolers to our artefacts according to the themes of Alphabets, Numbers, Colours, Shapes and Opposites!

Set A (ABCs, Numbers and Colours): $8/set of 3 booklets
Set B (Shapes and Opposites): $6/set of 2 booklets

Available exclusively at Supermama, The Museum Store.