Article provided by National Library Board

What is the Singapore Biographical Database of Chinese Personalities?

Representative personalities from the Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and Hainanese communities, with brief information on the individuals when user mouses over the personality.
Representative personalities from the Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and Hainanese communities, with brief information on the individuals when user mouses over the personality.PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD
Full Social Network of about 200 prominent Chinese personalities.
Full Social Network of about 200 prominent Chinese personalities.PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

The Singapore Biographical Database of Chinese Personalities is a new online database (sbdb.nus.edu.sg) of prominent Chinese personalities and the contributions they had made to early Singapore. It was launched on 1 February 2019.

The project – a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB), Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations and the Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore – maps out therelationships of 200 Chinese men and women who had made significant contributions to Singapore from the 19th to 21st centuries.

The 200 Chinese personalities were forward-thinking community leaders who had contributed to Singapore’s society during their time and include names such as Teo Eng Hock, Lim Bo Seng, Eu Tong Sen, and Seah Eu Chin, among others. More personalities will be added to the website in subsequent phases.

By enabling users to uncover some 800 intricate networks among the 200 Chinese pioneers, NLB hopes to inspire Singaporeans to connect their own ancestors to the web of individuals who pioneered Singapore. The goal is to drive a deeper understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s rich history and heritage.

Researchers and members of the public can help make the database more comprehensive by filling in information gaps for lesser-known Chinese personalities. Users can also download the metadata of all personalities for statistical analysis.