Make National Archives' reading room at library permanent

The National Archives of Singapore is being renovated and will reopen at the end of the year.

Its reading room meanwhile, is temporarily located at level 11 of the National Library.

As someone who has a strong interest in our country's history, I find it even more convenient now that the reading room is relocated to the library.

Prior to this, I had to make my way to the National Archives' building at Fort Canning just to access online archival materials because the majority of the multimedia resources cannot be accessed from home. In addition, should I have wanted to refer to certain books, I had to make a trip to the library, which was troublesome. I also had to contend with its shorter operating hours.

I understand such an arrangement is only temporary, but I would like to urge the National Archives to consider making the archives reading room at the library permanent.

They could also consider setting up similar facilities at other public libraries in the heartland, so users do not need to travel all the way to the National Library in Victoria Street just to access the online archives.

The National Archives' reading room at Fort Canning, when reopened, will not be rendered obsolete as serious researchers who require access to more resources will still require its facilities there.

In the library's move to promote higher awareness of Singapore's history, this is worth considering.

Sean Lim Wei Xin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Make National Archives' reading room at library permanent'. Print Edition | Subscribe