Article provided by National Library Board

What is the significance of The First Print exhibition?

As the Sejarah Melayu is written in the Jawi script, detailed English write-ups accompany each item.
As the Sejarah Melayu is written in the Jawi script, detailed English write-ups accompany each item.PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD
The display includes commissioned paper artwork by LULO Paper Studio of Sang Nila Utama’s sighting of a mysterious creature.
The display includes commissioned paper artwork by LULO Paper Studio of Sang Nila Utama’s sighting of a mysterious creature. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD
Translations and adaptations of the Sejarah Melayu into Chinese, Japanese and English form part of the display.
Translations and adaptations of the Sejarah Melayu into Chinese, Japanese and English form part of the display.PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD
Nestled in the quiet Singapore and Southeast Asia reading room in the National Library, members of the public can view this rare material for the first time.
Nestled in the quiet Singapore and Southeast Asia reading room in the National Library, members of the public can view this rare material for the first time.PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

The First Print display showcases some of Singapore’s earliest written sources on Singapore’s pre-colonial history, including an 1840 edition print copy of Sejarah Melayu – one of the earliest documentations of Singapore’s history.

The recently-acquired text presents Singapore as a naval and trading power from the 13thcentury and is a key source that shows Singapore as a thriving, dynamic and cosmopolitan port city.

Organised to coincide with Singapore’s bicentennial commemoration, The First Print display brings together three showcases and eight artefacts which retell the familiar stories and legends of early Singapore, such as the founding of Singapore by Sang Nila Utama.

The display is on show at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, Level 11 till 24 March 2019. It willsubsequently be on display at the Central Public Library, Jurong Regional Library, Tampines Regional Library and Woodlands Regional Library from 25 March to 31 October 2019. Visitors will be able to virtually flip through pages of the Sejarah Melayu in digital form at these locations.

Central Public Library – 2 April to 28 April 2019
Jurong Public Library – 29 April to 30 June 2019
Tampines Regional Library – 1 July to 1 September 2019
Woodlands Regional Library – 2 September to 31 October 2019


The display includes commissioned paper artwork by LULO Paper Studio of Sang Nila Utama’s sighting of a mysterious creature. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD


Translations and adaptations of the Sejarah Melayu into Chinese, Japanese and English form part of the display. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD


Nestled in the quiet Singapore and Southeast Asia reading room in the National Library, members of the public can view this rare material for the first time. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD