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Monday with the Editor: Red-brick National Library is no more

Hallo everyone

The demolition hammer has started work on a familiar local icon - the red-brick National Library in Stamford Road. It is no more its old self. And we, who share this time-space i.e. circa 2004, are witnesses to its demise.

A generation of people here in Singapore grew up in its familiar surroundings. In the course of time, the building has become part and parcel of what we have accepted as common-place Singapore icons.

Despite popular support for its continued existence, the building has fallen in the name of progress, to make way for the new Singapore Management University campus.

Those nostalgic can take heart in two things:

1. they have their precious memories

2. they can take a virtual tour of the icon as it was before it closed

For the rest, mentions of the red-brick National Library are to be found in books and online articles by local authors and others. As they read such materials, they may be inspired to learn more about some Singaporeans' fascination with this building. And they may come searching for news. And they may even land on this Web site and on this page.

Therefore, we are placing some links to online articles and pictures of this icon here to satisfy that thirst for information.

National Library at Stamford Road to close on 1 Apr 2004

Has the National Library building got to go?

Book Review: Memories And The National Library

Look for the real value before the heritage is lost

Explore Singapore - National Library in Stamford Road

From a sentimental fool, Many Thanks for the memories, dearest red-brick National Library.

Lastly, I leave you with these fine words to ponder over:

Preserve the past, ensure the future:
City and people move, proceed,
Landscapes change; Teamy is at work.
The rush of knowledge must be met,
Converted. Yet must the spirit thrive,
On sunsets, quiet trees, gibbons
In a painting, the life of Sages.
So the bud of light that lies within,
Blossoms, renews at Stamford Road
In this edifice, this heart.

The words are part of a poem entitled The National Library, Singapore by Professor Edwin Thumboo. The full poem can be found in the Virtual Walk In The National Library, Stamford Road section of the National Library Board's Web site at

Here's a parting shot:

Have a good week!


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6 September 2004