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NUS Libraries is a steward and repository of national and regional heritage, hosting a collection that includes treasures that date as far back as the 14th century, irreplaceable material saved from the Japanese invaders during World War 2, the world-renowned Singapore/Malaysia collection, and archival documents from the Colonial Office records.
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Biodiversity Library of Southeast Asia (BLSEA)

This collection contains rare and unique content on the flora and fauna of Southeast Asia. A labour of love between NUS Libraries and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, it contains open access biodiversity materials from both entities.

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Singapore-Malaysia Collection

This is a valuable research collection with its broad and in-depth coverage of the economic, geographical, historical, political and social development of Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an entity.

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Chinese in Southeast Asia Collection

Southeast Asia is the region of Chinese emigration with the longest diasporic history and the largest diaspora population.

For centuries, Chinese emigrants to Southeast Asia have founded various clan organisations, schools, newspapers and journals, leaving thousands of documents of historical interest. These valuable archives — comprising collections of important documents such as weekly magazines, internal newsletters of schools and social organisations, history books, familial genealogies and pictures — are crucial primary sources for research on the economic and social history of these immigrants, their political activities, and the transmission of their religious beliefs.

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Pre-war Japanese Publications in Southeast Asia

This collection showcases the studies done by Japanese scholars on Southeast Asia, and to a certain extent, reflects the knowledge and perspectives of the Japanese on Southeast Asia in the pre-war period.

It covers a wide range of subjects in agriculture, commerce, culture, economics, ethnology, sociology, tourism and zoology. Some publications focus on a particular country or colony while others look at Southeast Asia in general. Of particular interest are publications that discuss the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia such as Nanyō kakyō to sono jitsuseiryoku (Actual power of Southeast Asian Chinese) published in 1941.

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Historical Newspapers Collection

This online collection provides access to pre-war newspapers published in Singapore and Malaya and selected newspapers published in Southeast Asia. It is available in English, Chinese, Jawi, Malay and the Indonesian language.

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Rare Books Collection

This consists mainly of first, limited or special editions of books covering various disciplines and bearing imprint dates from around the 14th to the early 20th century. The closed collection is kept at the BookBridge. Selected titles are accessible at Digital Gems.

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NUS Theses Collection

The scholarly output of NUS is housed in this collection. It contains print and electronic copies of higher-degree theses and academic exercises submitted to the National University of Singapore and its predecessor institutions, namely, Raffles College, the University of Malaya, the University of Singapore and Nanyang University since 1947. The print copies are searchable on the library portal while the electronic theses are available in ScholarBank@NUS.

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Private Papers Collection

The collection comprises deposits of papers from prominent individuals. These private papers collections provide unique perspectives on the historical, literary, social, political and natural history of Southeast Asia.

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Digital Gems

Digital Gems is a gateway to NUS Libraries’ rare, historical, and primary source materials from NUS Libraries Special Collection in digital format. This virtual library provides access to a selection of rare books, manuscripts, private collections, journals, newspapers, drawings, pamphlets, photographs, maps, and audio-visual materials of cultural and historical value.