Article provided by National Library Board

Sharing the importance of legal deposit through the Our Published Heritage event

Inaugural issue of Singapore Fashionnews, 1989.
Inaugural issue of Singapore Fashionnews, 1989.PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD
The Food Paper magazine, 1987
The Food Paper magazine, 1987PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

Do you remember your favourite storybooks when you were in primary school or have you wondered how school textbooks in your parents’ era looked like? You may just be able to relieve the good times and find storybooks which may have gone out of print on PublicationSG, the National Library’s collection of Singapore’s published heritage.

Materials on the PublicationSG portal were collected through the National Library Board (NLB)’s legal deposit function, where publishers are required to deposit two copies of their publications with NLB. As digital publishing has grown rapidly, the updated NLB Act now allows NLB to also preserve digital materials such as online publications and websites, on top of physical copies like books and newspapers.

To showcase the National Library’s extensive legal deposit collection and to encourage public appreciation for Singapore’s published heritage, the National Library organised the Our Published Heritage event in November 2018. The legal deposit exhibition was divided into five zones which ranged from the ‘Childhood Memories’ section, where visitors relived their cherished memories playing games like hopscotch, to the ‘Born Digital’ section, which highlighted the trend of publishing as it goes digital.

Also on display at the two-day event were items from the legal deposit collection such as The Food Paper magazine (1987) which listed good eats in Singapore then as well as the inaugural issue of Singapore Fashionnews (1989) which reported about “the world’s biggest fashion parade” held at Orchard Road in April 1989.

Through these exhibitions and activities, visitors were able to get a deeper insight into Singapore’s published heritage, and understand the importance of depositing materials published in Singapore for preservation.

Click here for more information on the National Library’s legal deposit function.