Monday, February 4, 2013

Books on Singapore's Heritage

These are selected titles from our comprehensive collection of books on Singapore’s heritage:

Our Gurkhas: Singapore through their Eyes by Zakaria Zainal. The Singapore Gurkha Contingent was formed in 1949 and remains an integral and respected part of Singapore's security system. The Gurkha families form a self-contained community within Singapore and return to Nepal after their years of service. Here are photographs of some 40 retired guards who speak from Nepal of some of their memories of the changes and upheavals in the Republic's earlier years.

Exhibition Catalogue on Syonan Years. This volume, in Chinese, accompanied an exhibition at the old Ford Factory, now known as Memories at Old Ford Factory, telling the story of what daily life was like during the Occupation. Anchored primarily on oral history accounts that were collected since 1980s, the exhibition depicts the changes and their impact of the Occupation on daily life, and people's reactions to them.

The Causeway. This coffee-table album, produced jointly by the National Archives of Malaysia and Singapore, illuminates the background, construction and roles played by the Singapore-Johore Causeway since its 1924 opening. Maps, plans, records, memories and photographs from personal and archival sources trace the long planning and negotiations which preceded the Causeway's construction and its 1924 official opening of the rail and road interchange. Highlighted are the Causeway's impact on the area's multilateral development and its role in WWII when it formed a route for the withdrawal of British troops who then blew it up on 31 January 1942. Photographs show the Causeway's reestablishment following WWII and the vast constructions and extensions of the checkpoints built at both ends following the 1965 Separation of Malaysia and Singapore and the 1967 introduction of separate Immigration Controls. With illustrations, glossary and index.

Singapore through 19th Century Prints & Paintings by Wong Hong Suen and Roxana Waterson. A selection of topographic prints of places such as the harbour, Singapore River, Fort Canning Hill, as well as paintings of the cosmopolitan trade town and of tranquil rural scenes, the views presented in Singapore Through 19th Century Prints and Paintings show the colonial port-city in its first century and constitute a historically significant source of information on Singapore's early development. Often published in Europe and America in the accounts of scientific voyages, in travel books and in bound folios, these works portray the experiences of 19th century travellers, reflecting their individual impressions, experiences, prejudices and insights. Descriptions of the settlement by travellers and early settlers, in addition to detailed captions and two lively essays from experts, reveal European impressions of Singapore in early 19th century, as well as the fertile environment in which these paintings and prints were produced and marketed, fuelled by a burgeoning travel industry. Information on the background of the artists, lithographers and publishers and the evolution of techniques will offer fresh insights on the production and commercialisation of prints and painting as well as Singapore's central role in this industry. Often distinguished by exceptional detail, the images in Singapore Through 19th Century Prints and Paintings create an intriguing visual record, offering some of the oldest, rarest and most vibrant glimpses of Singapore.

Wartime Kitchen: Food And Eating in Singapore 1942-1950 by Wong Hong Suen. A wide range of photographs, diaries, cartoons, interviews, autobiographies, press cuttings and archival records has been used in this vivid account of Singapore's eating and food production in 1942-1950, a period of severe hardships and food shortages. Twenty illustrated recipes of the period are also included. Bibliography.

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