National Heritage Board's 30th Anniversary



We’re turning 30! NHB was established on 1 Aug, 1993, and since then, we’ve been working hard to celebrate Singapore’s wonderfully rich and diverse heritage, and tell the stories of our communities. Join us as we celebrate #NHB30 and reflect on our journey and the partners and friends who have been with us along the way. Our heritage belongs to all of us, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for being part of our heritage journey.

[INTERACTIVE] Heritage Ambassadors x NHB30 (coming soon)


Embark on an interactive Instagram story featuring our Heritage Ambassadors and NHB officers. Explore the captivating interactions between the Heritage Ambassadors and NHB officers of your choice, and uncover fascinating insights into their respective roles at NHB to gain a deeper understanding of NHB's diverse and impactful work.

In the meantime, snap some photos with our new #HeritageAmbassadors GIPHY stickers and tell us your heritage stories and you could win some collectibles!

Available soon on our Instagram page.

[ART INSTALLATION] NHB30 Installations at National Museum of Singapore and Asian Civilisations Museum (ongoing)

Asian Civilisations Museum

Look out for these #NHB30 installations at National Museum Singapore and Asian Civilisations Museum!

[VIDEO] This Is Not Your History Class Video Podcast (coming soon)


If the topic of heritage and culture isn’t really up your alley, we’re here to change your mind with the first episode of our brand new video podcast series, This Is Not Your History Class. Get to know NHB officers from Collections, Festivals & Precinct Development, Malay Heritage Centre and Indian Heritage Centre, who will reveal little-known facts about their work and what excites them on the job!

[PUBLIC TOUR] From 2023 to 1887: A Museum Journey Public Tours (ended)

Image: Let's Go Tour

To mark the launch of Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0 and celebrate NHB's 30th anniversary, we organised From 2023 to 1887: A Museum Journey public tours in May. These tours brought participants from our most recently reopened museum to our oldest, offering a tantalising slice of our heritage through visits to the Peranakan Museum and National Museum of Singapore.

About NHB

The National Heritage Board (NHB) is the custodian of Singapore’s heritage. We are responsible for telling the Singapore story, sharing the Singaporean experience and imparting our Singapore spirit.

NHB's mission is to preserve and celebrate the shared heritage of our diverse communities, for the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding. It manages the national museums and heritage institutions, and sets policies relating to heritage sites, National Monuments and the National Collection. Through the National Collection, NHB curates heritage programmes and presents exhibitions to connect the past, present and future generations of Singaporeans.

NHB was formed on 1 August 1993, and is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

We operate the following museums, heritage interpretative centres and community heritage institutions.




Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0


NHB launched Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0, which charts the development of Singapore's museum and heritage sector for the next 5 years. The plan builds on the achievements of the first heritage masterplan.

The Peranakan Museum Reopens


With a focus on inclusivity, the refreshed museum explores the multi-faceted diversity of Peranakan culture and communities such as Arab Peranakans, Chinese Peranakans, Chitty Melakans (or Peranakan Indian), Eurasian Peranakans and Jawi Peranakans. Visitors will encounter intricate objects, interviews, stories, and contemporary expressions in the museum’s nine galleries spanning three floors.

National Museum of Singapore Opens Reunion – A Dedicated Social Space for Seniors


Created in partnership with Lien Foundation and with inputs from the community, the purpose-built social space at the National Museum of Singapore is an inclusive one for seniors, including those with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, to engage in meaningful activities and conversations inspired by the museum’s collection.



Opening of Children’s Museum Singapore


The Children’s Museum Singapore (CMSG) is the first museum in Singapore dedicated to children who are 12 years old and below. Guided by its tagline “Start with Wonder”, CMSG functions as a ‘starter museum’ to introduce young visitors and their families to the museum-going experience, sustain and nurture a sense of curiosity to explore, experiment, and facilitate a conducive environment for learning through play.

Gazette of the Padang as Singapore’s 75th National Monument


The Padang was gazetted as a National Monument on 9 August 2022, making it the first green, open space to join Singapore’s list of National Monuments. Together with the other 74 National Monuments, it celebrates the stories that define Singapore and our people, and contributes to the architectural and cultural diversity of the nation’s built heritage.



Golden Jubilee of Singapore’s Preservation Journey

Singapore’s preservation journey began in 1971 when the Preservation of Monuments Act came into force. In commemoration of 50 years of preserving historic buildings, sites and structures in Singapore, the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division of the National Heritage Board presented an exhibition, which highlights milestones in Singapore’s preservation journey.

Reopening of Changi Chapel & Museum (CCM) and Reflections at Bukit Chandu (RBC)

Managed by the National Museum of Singapore, the narratives and stories within the revamped CCM and RBC complement the broad overview of the wartime period in Singapore from 1942 to 1945, along with that presented in the National Museum’s galleries. These places piece together the 90-day battle of Malaya that culminated in the fall of Singapore as well as the lived experiences of people during the Japanese Occupation.

Two Historic Shipwrecks Discovered in Singapore Territorial Waters

NHB announced the discovery of two historic shipwrecks in Singapore Territorial Waters. Research findings from the shipwrecks will contribute towards the understanding and safeguarding of Singapore’s maritime heritage, dating as far back as the 14th century.

Hawker Culture


Hawker Culture is Singapore’s First Inscription on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity


On 16 December 2020, Hawker Culture in Singapore was successfully inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the ICH of Humanity at the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee. The two-year long journey was a result of the strong collaboration between National Heritage Board, National Environment Agency, Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore, as well as the public, community and experts who gave their support for the bid.

Street Corner Heritage Galleries


As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships with communities, and raise awareness of and foster deeper appreciation for heritage in everyday spaces, NHB kicked off Street Corner Heritage Galleries within the Balestier precinct, before rolling it out in other precincts. The scheme involves working closely with local shop owners with at least 30 years of history to co-create “mini museums” that showcase the history and heritage of their respective businesses and trades.

Stewards of ICH


Launch of Augmented Reality Trail BALIKSG Brings Our History to Life


As part of the Singapore Bicentennial Commemoration, NHB and the National Parks Board presented BALIKSG, a augmented reality (AR) trail that brought visitors on an immersive journey along the Singapore River and around Fort Canning. Highlights include witnessing the signing of the 1819 treaty at the Padang, listening into a probable conversation between Sir Stamford Raffles and Major William Farquhar when they set foot on our shores, and revisiting Fort Canning back when it was known as Bukit Larangan and Government Hill.

The First in Asia to Use Mobile Telepresence Robot


The heritage institutions, comprising the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Malay Heritage Centre and Indian Heritage Centre, were the first museums in Asia to introduce the use of a mobile telepresence robot to allow visitors to “walk through” its galleries and exhibitions, and converse with a museum guide remotely – without having to physically set foot inside each institution.

NHB Launches The Stewards of Singapore’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Award


The launch of The Stewards of Singapore’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Award was announced at the Intangible Cultural Heritage Symposium on 30 October 2019. The Award recognises the dedication of ICH practitioners, promotes public awareness of ICH, and encourages the long-term sustainability of ICH elements by encouraging practitioners to transmit their skills and knowledge to the next generation.

NHB’s First Community Gallery Focusing on Intangible Cultural Heritage Opens in Kreta Ayer


Co-curated by NHB and the Kreta Ayer Community Club, the gallery serves as a platform to showcase the rich history of the Kreta Ayer and Chinatown areas. Through the use of objects, photographs and personal effects contributed by intangible cultural heritage practitioners and former residents, the gallery also seeks to showcase the intangible cultural heritage elements that are still practised in the Kreta Ayer area.



Launch of Our SG Heritage Plan - Singapore’s First Masterplan for the Heritage and Museum Sector


A new milestone was achieved for the heritage scene in Singapore as NHB launched the first master plan for Singapore’s heritage and museum sector. Co-developed with the community, the long-term plan charted the strategies and initiatives to better safeguard and promote our heritage for future generations.



Introduction of DigiMuse


The DigiMuse programme is aimed at building a vibrant cultural sector that is invested in digital innovation. It invites artists, technologists and culture professionals to co-create digital projects that demonstrate the possibilities of integrating culture and technology.



Launch of was launched as an interactive, engaging channel to aid the discovery of heritage content and programming, including resources on the National Collection, heritage trails and sites, National Monuments and research and publications and other multimedia content. The portal is developed as part of NHB’s larger digital strategy focusing on engagement, better content and greater accessibility.

Launch of HeritageCares


HeritageCares is NHB’s philanthropic initiative that reaches out to the less privileged through a range of heritage programmes at the national museums, heritage institutions and heritage sites. It also offers a chance for Singaporeans to give back to the community as heritage volunteers.



Singapore Botanic Gardens is Singapore's First UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Singapore Botanic Gardens (the Gardens) was conferred the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Germany, Bonn. The Gardens joins the more than 1,000 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and it is the fist in Asia and the third botanic gardens to be inscribed.

Launch of Jubilee Walk

Launched in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence, the Jubilee Walk is an eight-kilometre trail that connects the past, present and future elements of the Singapore story, from ancient Temasek and the colonial era, to independence and beyond.

End of World War II Commemorative Ceremony

Singapore commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in August 2015. NHB organised a ceremony in the City Hall Chamber of the National Gallery, Singapore (the former Municipal Building), where the official surrender of the Japanese took place 70 years ago.

Opening of the Indian Heritage Centre

Opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 7 May 2015, the Indian Heritage Centre traces the history of the Indian and South Asian communities in the Southeast Asian regions. The centre offers exhibitions, programmes and activities all year to promote greater public awareness and appreciation of the Indian heritage, arts and culture.



Launch of MPA-NHB Maritime Heritage Fund to Raise Profile of Singapore’s Maritime Heritage


The Maritime Heritage Fund was launched to raise the profile of Singapore’s maritime heritage by promoting national pride in Singapore’s success as a maritime nation, and drawing links to her rich trading past to raise awareness, interest and understanding of the industry.

Celebrating Singapore’s Golden Jubilee Overseas and 50 Years of Singapore-France Diplomatic Relations with the Best of Singapore’s Arts and Culture

For the first time, France invited Singapore to present the best of its contemporary arts and culture and heritage in a large-scale showcase held in 2015. Presented in prestigious institutions in key French cities, the Singapour en France – le festival (Singapore Festival in France) was one of the international celebrations for Singapore’s golden jubilee year, and also marked 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

History and Milestone 2013


Launch of First Community Museum – Our Museum @ Taman Jurong


NHB partnered residents in Taman Jurong to develop Singapore’s first community museum and foster an appreciation of the arts, heritage and culture.

History and Milestone 2012


Re-opening of the Malay Heritage Centre


Developed with contributions from the community, the revamped Malay Heritage Centre re-opened on 1 September 2012, featuring new content, updated facilities, as well as never-seen-before artefacts complemented by the National Collection.

Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Battle for Singapore


With 2012 marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle for Singapore, NHB, together with private partners such as the Singapore Heritage Society and The Changi Museum, launched a series of activities in commemoration of one of most significant and poignant chapters in Singapore’s history.

History and Milestone 2011


Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House


The Singapore Art Museum organised the Singapore Biennale for the first time, which featured 161 works by 63 artists from over 30 countries in its third edition.

The Most Popular NHB Exhibition – Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor & His Legacy


From 24 June to 16 October 2011, the Asian Civilisations Museum brought the Terracotta Army along with other magnificent Han and Qin objects to Southeast Asia for the first time. The exhibition was co-organised with the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau and the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center. More than 170,000 visitors – the most visited exhibition then – saw the exhibition and learned about early China’s rich cultural legacy through stories about the First Emperor, his unification of China, and his monumental burial complex.

Groundbreaking Ceremony of the National Art Gallery, Singapore


The groundbreaking ceremony of the National Art Gallery, Singapore, took place on 27 January 2011. The Gallery opened in 2015 and has become a leading cultural destination in Singapore for both locals and tourists alike.

Re-opening of the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall


Following a year of redevelopment, the revamped Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall re-opened on 8 October 2011. The refurbished memorial hall offers visitors insights into the lives of Dr Sun Yat Sen’s local supporters, as well as highlights the pivotal role that Singapore and Nanyang played in the success of the 1911 Revolution.

History and Milestone 2010


The First Singapore Exhibition to Travel Overseas – Baba Bling: The Peranakan Chinese of Singapore

This highlight event of the Singapore-France museum collaboration in 2010 saw approximately 500 iconic Peranakan artefacts from the Peranakan Museum travel to the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. It was the first exhibition of such a scale presented in Europe by a Singapore museum and included complementary programming.

History and Milestone 2009


Heritage Institutions Join NHB


On 11 March 2009, the NHB signed a Memorandum of Understanding to manage the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial HallMalay Heritage Centre and Indian Heritage Centre.

Preservation of Monuments Board Joins NHB


On 1 July 2009, the Preservation of Monuments Board merged with NHB. It continues to promote greater awareness and appreciation of Singapore’s architectural heritage and history. To date, there are 70 Monuments in Singapore.

History and Milestone 2008


The Peranakan Museum Opens


25 April 2008 marked the opening of the world’s first national Peranakan Museum. Housed on Armenian Street, this boutique museum focuses on the colourful history of the Peranakans in Singapore, and features one of the world's best collections of Peranakan culture.

Launch of Night Festival


NHB’s first-ever Night Festival on 18 July 2008 dazzled with 2 weekends of spectacular performances and activities. The yearly cultural extravaganza has become a must-see for all Singaporeans.

Launch of Children's Season


NHB introduced its annual Children's Season, which presents cultural and educational experiences that will inspire, engage and educate young audiences.

History and Milestone 2007


The Revamped National Museum of Singapore Wins Two Significant Awards


The National Museum of Singapore won the Best Re-invented Attraction Award 2007 from the Association of Singapore Attractions on 4 July 2007. In the same year, the museum’s Sejarah Singapura video installation in its Singapore History Gallery secured the Silver Award in the Multimedia Installation category at the annual MUSE Awards held in the United States.

Developing Our Virtual Repository – Singapore Collections Online (SGCOOL)


SGCOOL, Singapore’s first digital repository of artefacts and artworks was launched in May 2007, making highlights from the National Collection publicly available and accessible online. It was eventually subsumed under a heritage resource portal,, which was launched in 2016.


First ASEAN Museum Directors' Symposium


The inaugural ASEAN Museum Directors’ Symposium, themed Making Museums Matter, saw the participation of over 100 ASEAN museum leaders where they exchanged ideas and experiences while fostering ties with their learned counterparts. The symposium was organised by the Heritage Conservation Centre.

Inaugural Patron of Heritage Awards Ceremony


NHB’s first Patron of Heritage Awards ceremony held in 2007 recognised a total of 86 awardees. Established in 2006, the Patron of Heritage Awards is an annual event that aims to boost heritage philanthropy in Singapore by honouring individuals and organisations who have made significant contributions towards enriching our heritage.

History and Milestone 2006


National Museum of Singapore Re-opens


On 7 December 2006, the refurbished National Museum of Singapore was officially opened by His Excellency S R Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore after three years of redevelopment.

Memories at Old Ford Factory Opens


Memories at Old Ford Factory was officially opened by then Minister for Defence Mr Teo Chee Hean on 16 February 2006. The heritage centre focuses on Singapore's experience during the Japanese Occupation.

First Government Agency to Move into Social Media


The launch of in March 2006 marked NHB as the first government agency to engage in social media. was a heritage blog that harboured a treasure trove of stories and memories of the Singapore of old. The site was immensely popular with the younger generation keen on discovering their unique heritage here in Singapore.

History and Milestone 2005


Renewal of Sino-Singapore Bilateral Relations


Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the People’s Republic of China in November 2005 to renew bilateral cultural cooperation. The move paved the way for the Asian Civilisations Museum’s collaboration with the Sichuan Cultural Relics Bureau on an exhibition of Chinese ancient bronzes from the famous Sanxingdui site, as well as for Singapore Art Museum’s partnership with the Guangzhou Art Museum, China Art Academy in Hangzhou and Shanghai Art Museum on a joint travelling exhibition on contemporary ink painting and calligraphy.

History and Milestone 2004


Launch of Singapore HeritageFest


On 16 July 2004, the first Singapore HeritageFest was launched to raise awareness and appreciation of Singapore's rich heritage.

History and Milestone 2003


Asian Civilisations Museum relocates to Empress Place


The Asian Civilisations Museum officially reopened at the (then) newly restored Empress Place building on 1 March 2003. The museum covers 5,000 years of Asian history and culture from West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia to East Asia.

History and Milestone 2002


Reflections at Bukit Chandu Opens


, a World War II interpretative centre focusing on the last battle of the Malay Regiment in Singapore, opened its doors on 15 February 2002.


Singapore Participates in Venice Biennale for the First Time


Singapore Art Museum organised Singapore’s first participation in Venice Biennale, probably the most important international exposition of contemporary visual art in the world.

History and Milestone 2000


Heritage Conservation Centre Opens


Opened on 15 September 2000, the Heritage Conservation Centre was the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. It is home to Singapore’s National Collection, and a leader in cultural materials conservation in this region.

Singapore Philatelic Museum Joins NHB


The Singapore Philatelic Museum transferred from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to become a fully-owned subsidiary of NHB on 1 April 2000.

History and Milestone 1999


Launch of Singapore’s First National Heritage Trail – Civic District Trail


The Civic District Trail launched on 29 August 1999 was the first national heritage trail in Singapore.

Second Blockbuster Exhibition


The blockbuster Eternal Egypt Treasures from the British Museum, featuring over 100 Egyptian artefacts, was held at the Asian Civilisations Museum (at Armenian Street) and attracted over 105,000 people.

First Exhibition to Commemorate National Achievement


The exhibition Everest Singapore at the Summit, officially launched at Singapore History Museum (SHM) by the late President Ong Teng Cheong, was the first time an exhibition was held in Singapore to commemorate a national achievement.

3D Show Becomes Permanent Exhibit at the Singapore History Museum


The first ever high-definition three dimensional show The Singapore Story Overcoming the Odds that was first shown at Suntec City in 1998 became a permanent exhibition at the then Singapore History Museum.

History and Milestone 1998


National Archives of Singapore Moves to its New Home at Canning Rise


The National Archives of Singapore celebrated its 30th anniversary with the official opening of its new premises at Fort Canning Rise. Its facilities include a mini-exhibition entrance foyer, five purpose-built environmentally-controlled repositories, a reference room and a multimedia kiosk.

History and Milestone 1997


Asian Civilisations Museum’s First Wing Opens at Armenian Street


The first wing of the Asian Civilisations Museum officially opened on 22 April 1997 at Armenian Street, in the former Tao Nan School. 

History and Milestone 1996


Singapore Art Museum Opens


Housed at the former St Joseph’s Institution, the Singapore Art Museum was opened on 20 January 1996. It advocates and presents the contemporary art practices of Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia, situating them within the global context of art making today.

Founding of Museum Roundtable


The Museum Roundtable is a collective established to promote a museum-going culture amongst Singaporeans and to position museums as unique cultural destinations. Today, the group has over 60 member museums.

History and Milestone 1995


World War II Historic Site Markers Installed


14 World War II markers were installed to indicate locations that were significant in the war years, and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War.

History and Milestone 1994


First NHB Blockbuster Exhibition


Alamkara 5000 years of India was staged by the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) at the former National Museum venue, drawing a record 165,000 people. This was the highest visitorship for any exhibition held in a museum in Singapore then.

Special Exhibition Features Artefacts from the British Museum and British Library


The exhibition Revisited 175 Years of the Founding of Singapore was the first time artefacts from the collections of the British Museum and British Library in the UK were featured at the then Singapore History Museum.


History and Milestone 1993


The Birth of NHB


On 1 August 1993, the National Heritage Board was formed with the merger of the National ArchivesNational Museum and Oral History Department.