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National Library Board and National Museum of Singapore invite public to contribute records of daily life

Screenshot 2020-05-21 at 9.59.41 PM

In an attempt to document Singapore’s COVID-19 days, a joint collection drive by the National Library Board (NLB) and the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) will run from 22nd May to 31st December 2020. The collection drive calls for individuals, communities and organisations to contribute materials that document experiences of the pandemic in Singapore, aiming to capture a fuller picture of life during these times, add to the nation’s history and archives, and enrich future generations’ understanding of this extraordinary period. 

Considered a key historical moment, NLB and NMS seek to capture the COVID-19 period and continue to build the nation’s contemporary collection by collecting today’s history for tomorrow.  Since February this year, NLB has been archiving websites and television broadcasts, as well as collecting photographs and ephemera related to the COVID-19, documenting how Singapore has been managing the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event in Singapore’s and in the world’s history. Our ‘Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore’ collection drive invites the community to work with us to develop a collection that documents this national experience. We will preserve these collective memories and contributions so that our daily lives during this period can be remembered in the future,” said Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive Officer of the National Library Board.

For NMS, this drive is part of its ongoing efforts to document significant moments in Singapore’s recent and contemporary history, through the collection of objects and stories that capture people’s lived experiences. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum’s curators have been keeping a close watch on developments, and documenting important objects and stories that capture the sentiment and experiences of life in Singapore during COVID-19.

Chung May Khuen, Director, National Museum of Singapore, said: “As the National Museum, we seek to capture and show how defining moments in our lives, like the COVID-19 pandemic, have affected life in Singapore in one way or another. We invite everyone to share with us their personal perspectives and key objects that tell important stories of COVID-19. These contributions of contemporary Singapore will help build our National Collection further and allow future generations to learn about our shared history more vividly.”

Members of the public are encouraged to express what life during this pandemic and the circuit breaker period in Singapore has been like, and what home (in a physical or symbolic sense) means to them in a time of COVID-19. To find out more about what they can contribute to the project, interested participants can visit NLB’s dedicated webpage here. Both NLB and NMS hope to engage members of the public of all backgrounds, and are keen to support organisations and communities with an interest in documenting COVID-19 or who are already working on a similar project.

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