The Sunday Times says

Tomorrow's history showcased today

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A song album and a driver's licence may not seem like museum-worthy artefacts but these are new additions to the revamped Changi Chapel and Museum, which tells the tales of Allied prisoners' experiences during their World War II internment here. This approach, which emphasises first-person anecdotes and personal collectibles, reflects a new direction taken by the National Museum of Singapore, which is now running the museum. The National Museum is expanding its definition as a repository of Singapore stories to include current stories instead of just historical artefacts and tales. This new focus is evident in its ongoing show, Picturing The Pandemic: A Visual Record Of Covid-19 In Singapore. The museum's move is part of a broader global trend as institutions are realising that current events making the headlines today become the history of future generations.

The National Museum is not the only heritage institution to zoom in on people's stories. The Indian Heritage Centre's Sikhs In Singapore: A Story Untold includes personal items such as wedding outfits and cookware. A torchbearer for this approach is the Malay Heritage Centre, whose ongoing Urang Banjar: Heritage And Culture Of The Banjar In Singapore is the fifth in its Se-Nusantara series, which has been documenting the diversity of the Malay community. Previous shows explored the Minangkabau and Bugis communities.

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