Friday 13 January 2012

"Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition opens at National Library

Channel NewsAsia, 11 Jan 2012

An exhibition showcasing the origins of local street names and Singapore's street naming conventions has been launched.

The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" at the National Library also highlights stories about people, their lives and achievements, and roles they played in making Singapore what it is today.

The National Library says the exhibition aims to create a greater awareness of Singapore's early history, journey through nation building and unique multicultural heritage.

It also traces the history of Singapore through the street naming conventions from the pre-colonial era to modern day Singapore.

More than 100 street names are featured, such as during the 14th and 15th century, pre-Raffles Singapore, the Raffles Town Plan and the post-colonial period after Singapore's independence in 1965.

The different categories of street names, such as descriptive street names, those dedicated to prominent people, streets named after local personalities and street names reflecting the imprint of British colonialism, are featured.

For instance, the Raffles Town Plan, one of the key exhibits, depicts the urban plan of Singapore according to Sir Stamford Raffles' instructions.

The exhibition displays maps, photographs and old street signs from the National Library's donor collections and materials from supporting partners.

Highlights include the National Library's legal documents and maps from the Koh Seow Chuan collection, PictureSG1's photographs of street scenes of early Singapore from the Lee Kip Lin collection, and a video on ten unusual street names such as Kay Poh Road, Rotan Lane and One Tree Hill.

To reach out to more Singaporeans, three roving exhibitions will be held at the Woodlands Regional Library, Marine Parade Public Library and Jurong West Public Library, from June 30 to September 30, 2012.

In addition, the National Library will also organise a talk on street names, learning journeys, a guided tour of the exhibition and the Curator's Walk which covers Toponymics, the study of street and place names in January and February 2012.

National Library Board's CEO Elaine Ng said: "I hope that Singaporeans will enjoy learning about history and heritage through the evolution of our street names. We are also conducting guided tours of the exhibition for students and community groups, and learning journeys to areas such as Chinatown and the Civic District over the next few months."

Admission to the "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibition is free.

It is located at the Promenade, Levels 7 and 8 of the National Library Building and will run for six months from January 11 to June 29, 2012, from 10am to 9pm daily, except on public holidays.

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