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National archives pioneer Lily Tan dies at age 70

Published on Feb 19, 2014 8:05 AM
Relatives and friends at Mrs Lily Tan's wake yesterday. They recalled her passion for documenting Singapore's history. She spent 33 years with the National Archives of Singapore, including 22 years as its director. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Colleagues and relatives paid tribute to Mrs Lily Tan yesterday, recalling how the former director of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) had a "great passion" for documenting the Republic's history.

Mrs Tan died at her Bukit Timah home after suffering a heart attack on Sunday. She was 70.

She is known for being one of the archives' major driving forces after spending 33 years with the organisation - including 22 as its director from 1979.

"Mrs Tan was there from the very start as the only local and professionally trained archivist when NAS was set up in 1968," said Ms Julia Chee, deputy director of its Oral History Centre. "The NAS grew from about 10 staff members when it was established to more than 80 members when she left her post as senior director in 2001."

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