Dear subscribers, friends and history enthusiasts,
It's been a while since the last update (two months to be exact)! But
citizen historian is still alive and kicking! This update covers
contributions for the months of June and August.
There are two first-time contributors from the NUS University Scholars
Programme (USP). Their essays were part of an assignment to research
aspects of Singapore history and to publish them in the Internet. Hence, I
would like to thank them for allowing us to reproduce their work.
Tan Mei Yan presents (in three parts) an historical development of mental
health care in Singapore from 1819 into the twentieth century. Her essay
draws from various official histories available, and provides many
interesting insights and anecdotes within a lesser known aspect of
Singapore's past (and indeed, its present) society.
Zhou Zhong presents an essay on the life and photography of Yip Cheong
Fun, an international-acclaimed photographer. Using newspapers articles,
online resources and an interview with Yip's son, Zhou Zhong brings to
life a local personality who not only greatly contributed to the arts
scene, but through his photos, continues to provoke discussion on
historical issues, such as urban renewal.
Kevin Khoo, a Masters graduate in History, has also allowed us to
reproduce an article on Singapore's first Chief Minister, the charismatic
David Marshall. The highly informative article draws on Marshall's oral
interviews with the National Archives of Singapore, covering his political
and intellectual positions vis-?vis Singapore society, as well as the
historical experiences which shaped his ideas and thoughts.
As some of you may already be aware, the latest issue of Tangent presents
a multitude of experiences researching history in Singapore, particularly
with the National Archives of Singapore. This special issue is edited by
Loh Kah Seng, a Masters' graduate in History and is currently completing
his PhD at Murdoch, researching the social history of the Bukit Ho Swee
fire of 1961. It is an informative read and touches on the issues and
difficulties confronting researchers in Singapore. Copies are still
available at Select Books, Kinokuniya (Ngee Ann City), and certain
bookstores at Bras Brasah Complex.
Long-time contributor Kevin Lee is back with a refreshing take on
Singapore's history. Narrating the story from the perspective of the
waters off Singapore, Kevin emphasises the island intimate relationship
with the sea throughout its history: from the legend of Sang Nila Utama,
British colonial objectives, the Japanese Invasion, Singapore's economic
development, and finally, the National Day Parades at Marina Bay. It is no
coincidence that the future plans for the National Stadium includes a
section where the stadium enjoins the waterfront.
Finally, and fresh from a research trip to Vietnam, first-time contributor
Mok Mei Meng reviews three libraries she used, highlighting the types of
catalogues available in each library as well as valuable need-to-knows
while using their facilities.
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