…cont’d from Part 1
Besides the above First Day Cover showing the National Library together with a few other landmarks of Singapore, I couldn’t find or remember seeing any stamps or covers on the old National Library alone. Wonder why?
So do you know exactly where is this old red brick National Library? Let’s take a look at the old map below (around 70s) showing the National Library;
You can see that the old National Library is just besides the National Museum at Stamford Road. The demolishing of this old red brick library is to facilitate the building of the Fort Canning Tunnel, but the reasons why the importance of this tunnel, I’m not keen at all to touch on it. See the current map now without the library;
Of course with the tunnel built, and lots of road changes made and the SMU buildings around the area – it seems like a different landscape! Before my memories fade, let’s recall some of the main buildings around here…
This 3 storey building at Stamford Road was just near to the old library. The old Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) building was here from 1962 to 1984.
Tao Nan Chinese School;
The old Tao Nan Chinese School was located at Armenian Street and was built in 1906;
Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.
Now this building has been restored and it’s the Asian Civilisations Museum;
This is an very old building (1908) formerly known as Malaya Publishing House (MPH). This Red and White colored building seems like a very “expensive” bookshop to me during my school days. I still remember the wooden staircase inside the bookshop;
Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS
It is now known as the Vanguard Building, which houses the Vanguard Interiors Pte Ltd;
After taking a look around the old library, now let’s take a look at the old library itself. But just before that, we probably could not forget that old coffee shop besides the library carpark. It’s a very small coffee shop. Below shows some old photos of the red brick library;
The front main staircase
Photo Credit : National Library Board, NLB
Below shows 2 photos taken in 2004.
The courtyard which is rather different from the 70s;
The most memorable fountain at the library. Wonder where it is now?
Above 2 photos credit : By James 1504
Take note of the old logo at the main entrance of the library;
Photo Credit : National Library Board, NLB
See the difference with the new logo;
Now let’s talk about the National Library Logo;
During the Raffles Library times : The Logo resembled the crest of the Colony of Singapore. The crest which looked like the British Royal Coat of Arms had mottoes that read “Dieu et mon droit” (French for ‘God and my right’). It neither represented the library’s function nor aspiration.
Below – something like that;
Credit : Wikipedia
In the 60s : The National Library carried its own logo. It is said that the logo was designed by one of the librarians. The logo composed of a book and a superimposed figure of a lion. The book symbolised the collections, or books and reading, while the lion represented Singapore. This logo was seen on library cards and library books.
The old library card carrying the old logo;
The New Logo : The new logo was launched in 1996 after it became a statutory board. The logo is composed of a stylised book with flipping pages that transits from bold solid pages to pixels. It symbolises the organisation’s aspiration of a modern, dynamic and creative library and information service provider. Meaning of the new logo as stated in the library report;
Stylised book and flipping pages
Represents qualities of dynamism and the power of unlimited learning. It also reflects the qualities that promote reading, learning and a continual search for information.
Transition from bold solid pages to pixel
Traces the evolution from print to electronic media. It represents NLB’s focus in current technology and its commitment to be at the cutting edge of technological developments as well as the drive for improvement and expansion of its services.
Depicts the library system’s three-tier concept: regional, community and neighbourhood libraries and the outreach programme to bring information to the doorstep of every household in Singapore.
Here is the new logo;
…how I miss the old red brick library…
Built in 1960 and end in Mar 2004…lived a life of 44 years!