The National Library Board (NLB) has taken on the enormous task of archiving 180,000 Singapore websites ending with the .sg domain, as well as digital materials published in Singapore.
The annually updated National Day Parade website and the Fighting SARS Together! website launched during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak in 2003 are among the 2,000 websites that have been archived so far.
The move is part of NLB's effort to expand its legal deposit collection of materials published in Singapore, which, up until recently, only covered physical publications such as books and magazines.
In July, Parliament passed amendments to the National Library Board Act that allowed the NLB to archive websites ending with .sg without the need for written permission from their owners.
These websites will be archived at least once a year, the NLB said.
Since 1958, the NLB legal deposit office has been collecting and preserving published works in Singapore, with more than 1.3 million items collected so far.
Director of the National Library Wai Yin Pryke said it is important to preserve the literary and intellectual heritage of a nation as they document the development of Singapore in the last 60 years.
"We're now able to capture our digital heritage as more publications move online. In this digital age, maybe more things will be published digitally as compared with hard copies," said Mrs Pryke at the launch of NLB exhibition Our Published Heritage yesterday.
The exhibition held at the National Library showcases out-of-print local children's books, cookbooks, and fashion and entertainment magazines.
Books on display include the inaugural issue of women's magazine Her World published in July 1960 and supplementary textbook Federal Readers used in schools in the 1960s.
Housewife Jin Koh, 60, said the exhibition took her on a trip down memory lane. "I used to read some of these books and magazines but I've thrown them all away. The times are moving so fast, these things should be kept and remembered."
Media executive Tan Chia Huee, 41, said: "It's good that the library preserves these books so they can be saved for future generations to see."
After today, the exhibition will be held at the Woodlands Regional Library (Nov 7 to Dec 9), Tampines Regional Library (Dec 10 to Jan 6) and Jurong Regional Library (Jan 7 to 27).
Correction note: The article has been edited to reflect the correct designation of Wai Yin Pryke. We are sorry for the error.