Medicine+Science Library Medicine+Science Library

The Medicine+Science Library is established in 2023 through the merger of the Medical Library and Science Library.  The former is the oldest library in NUS. Its origin can be traced back to 1905 when the Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School was set up.  The latter was opened on 19 May 1986.

The merger brings together our strong collection on the dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, biological and life sciences, chemistry, mathematics, statistics & applied probability, materials science and physics.

The Medicine+Science Library serves the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Dentistry, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School and Faculty of Science

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On a warm afternoon on 28 September 1905, Sir John Anderson, Governor of the Straits Settlements officially opened the Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School. This was the culmination of an initiative led by Tan Jiak Kim, a Chinese businessman and philanthropist who had petitioned the government for a medical school in September 1904. Earlier efforts to establish such a school were unsuccessful and qualified young men were sent by the government to Madras Medical College to be trained as doctors.


The Medical School was housed in an ill-suited old female asylum at Sepoy Lines that was converted to provide a lecture room, dissecting room, physiology laboratory, students’ rooms and offices. No space was set aside for a library and the collection of medical books was most likely kept in the principal’s office. Such was the humble beginnings of our first library.


The erection of the Tan Teck Guan building in 1911 enabled the creation of administrative offices, museum, reading and lecture rooms which afforded more space for the collection of medical books.


The Medical Library finally received its own dedicated space with the opening of the new Medical College building in 1926 to accommodate the expansion of the King Edward VII College of Medicine. It occupied the centre of the second floor and had a librarian’s room and students’ reading rooms.


The expanded library collection required the appointment of a library clerk and P. J. Varghese was the first appointee who served until 1930. George Ee served in a similar capacity from 1941 to 1960.


During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese military turned the College of Medicine building into a serological institute. It was believed that a Japanese officer had all the books in the Medical Library stamped with his troop's seal, translated as “Seal of Troop 9420 Library” so that no other Japanese would destroy them. Formed in 1942 to support the Japanese Southern Army, Unit 9420 or Oka Unit was involved in germ warfare but it is unclear whether Singapore was a biological weapon research facility or was simply a laboratory employed to produce pathogens for use elsewhere.


After the end of the Japanese occupation, concerted efforts were made to resume the operations of the College of Medicine. The equipment’s appalling condition required considerable time to restore. Fortuitously, the Library was left intact and it soon resumed operations in 1946. A small library was set up at the dental school under the supervision of laboratory technicians. In 1947, the Medical Library moved to the ground floor of the College of Medicine building.


Further improvements to the Library were made in 1958 with a grant from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund and the China Medical Board which allowed for the installation of new steel shelves, a mezzanine floor and air-conditioning.


A fire gutted the lecture theatres directly above the Library in July 1963. Students formed a human chain to move the library books to the grounds outside, saving them from being burnt or damaged by water from the firemen’s hoses.


A new round of renovation from 1967 to 1969 resulted in an extension of the Medical Library to accommodate the increased number of users. A book lift was installed to facilitate the movement of books. The Runme Shaw Medical Library Extension was opened in 1970 by the then-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Singapore Dr Toh Chin Chye. In the same year, the collection in the Dental Faculty was merged with the Medical Library’s collection.


The establishment of the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1980 provided the opportunity to unite the Medical and Dental faculties at Kent Ridge. The Medical Library’s move from Sepoy Lines to Kent Ridge was carried out in stages between 1983 and 1985. The Medical Library ceased operating at Sepoy Lines with the final relocation of the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry to Kent Ridge in 1985.


In 2007, the site of the Medical Library was earmarked for redevelopment. The medical collection and services were moved to the Science Library temporarily as the site made way for a newer and taller building. The two libraries were renamed Medical/Science Library during the 4 years when they co-existed. In 2011, the Medical Library was rehoused back to its original site, where the newly erected Centre for Translational Medicine sits.


Throughout the years, the Medical Library has built a reputation as one of the leading libraries in the field of medicine. In 2002, the Library was designated the World Health Organisation (WHO) Repository Library in Singapore by the Ministry of Health. Between 2006 to 2013, NUS Libraries assisted to set up the A*STAR Biopolis Library, later renamed The Brenner Library. The Medical Library staff played a critical role in keeping the Library up and running in its early days.


On 19 May 1986, a standalone library that housed the science collection officially opened its doors at the Faculty of Science, NUS. The Science Library occupying three levels of the S6 building, was sorely needed to meet the needs of the Faculty of Science.


The history of the science collection can be traced back to the early days of Raffles College in the 1920s. The founders of Raffles College did not make provision for a purpose-built library. Consequently, four disparate collections of books namely Arts, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics were set up in the respective departments, overseen by the departmental heads. This situation carried on even after the merger of Raffles College and King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1949 to form the University of Malaya.


It was only in 1950 that the Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics departmental libraries merged with the Arts library to form the Main Library, accommodated in an old colonial-style house while a large new library was being constructed. After the new Main Library was completed in 1953, the arts and science collections found a new permanent home. A three-storey new wing, comprising the lower ground, ground and first floor, was added in 1958 to accommodate the increased demands on library services following the University’s establishment of new departments and faculties. The Science Reading Room was housed on the first floor.


The formation of the National University of Singapore in 1980 would entail a massive relocation of the Main Library’s collections. In 1981, the science collection was moved from Bukit Timah to the Central Library at Kent Ridge. In 1982, a proposal for a science library to be built at the Faculty of Science was approved. The timing couldn’t have been better, as the expansion of the Science Faculty would require a separate science library to better serve its needs. Planning for the Science Library began under the oversight of Sylvia Yap, the then-Head Designate of the Science Library.


The Science Library officially opened its doors four years later, in 1986. Occupying part of the S6 building, its collection covered biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics. Part of the mathematics and computer science collection of the former Nanyang University Library stored at Central Library was incorporated into the Science Library collection.


At the turn of the millennium, a new floor was added to the Science Library. The completion of the new floor was timely as Singapore endured the SARS outbreak in mid-March 2003 and university examinations were decentralised. The new floor was temporarily used to conduct examinations from April to May.


Since its establishment, the Science Library actively supports staff, students and faculties in their research and teaching activities. To document and record the history and development of the Faculty of Science, the Library published The Scientific Crucible: Science Education in NUS Since 1929. The publication is still updated annually and widely referred to today.


Medicine+Science Library features a variety of spaces and resources available for the NUS Community’s learning, research, and teaching needs. Explore some of the featured spaces or visit the Facilities page to view the full list.


Finding your way within the library? Access the

Take a virtual tour of each level:
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Medicine+Science Library

11 Lower Kent Ridge Road, (S) 119083

Tel: +65 6516 2046

For directions, use    NUS Campus Map journey planner or   Google Map Journey Planner.

Medicine+Science Library is located along 11 Lower Kent Ridge Road S119083. It is situated beside LT28 and LT29.

  • Take the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to Buona Vista Station (EW21 on East-West Line / CC22 on Circle Line).
  • Board Bus Service No. 95 from the bus stop on the opposite side of North Buona Vista Road.
  • Alight at the bus-stop at LT27, Lim Seng Tjoe Lecture Theatre.


  • Take the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to Kent Ridge Station (CC24 on Circle Line).
  • Board Bus Service No. 95 from the bus stop on the side of NUH.
  • Alight at the bus-stop at LT27, Lim Seng Tjoe Lecture Theatre.

Alternatively, take the 97197 or 963 bus which stops along Ayer Rajah Expressway near the National University Hospital.

The Medicine+Science library is within walking distance of the bus-stops, beside LT28 & LT29.


When you are already in the NUS campus, you can take the Internal Shuttle Bus Service to all the libraries in the NUS Library system.  For bus schedules and routes, click here.

Alight at bus-stop LT33 or "LT27, Lim Seng Tjoe Lecture Theatre". It takes less than 3 minutes to walk from these bus-stops to the Medicine+Science Library building.


Take Exit 8 along Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and turn into South Bouna Vista Road. Turn into Lower Kent Ridge Road. The nearest Visitor Car Park is Car Park 10.

See: NUS Parking


There are no really safe bicycle lanes to NUS Kent Ridge Campus except through Dover Road to University Town. Once you are in University Town, take Campus Link, which has a bicycle lane, to enter Kent Ridge. There are two other marginally safer ways to get on the Kent Ridge campus:

  • From Pasir Panjang Road, enter Heng Mui Keng Terrace, which leads to Kent Ridge Drive.
  • Enter Science Park I from Portsdown Ave (near Normanton Park). Exit at South Buona Vista Road, just outside the NUHS building.

Note that this can be a busy junction during morning and evening peak hours.


Opening Hours

Libraries are closed on the following dates:
Mon, 2 Jan 2023
(New Year's Day)
Sat, 22 Apr 2023
(Hari Raya Puasa)*
Fri, 1 Sep 2023
(Presidential Election)*
Mon, 23 Jan 2023
(Chinese New Year)*
Mon, 1 May 2023
(Labour Day)*
Fri, 10 Nov 2023
(NUS Well-Being Day)*
Tue, 24 Jan 2023
(Chinese New Year)*
Fri, 2 Jun 2023
(Vesak Day)*
Mon, 13 Nov 2023
Thu, 6 Apr 2023
(NUS Well-Being Day)*
Thu, 29 Jun 2023
(Hari Raya Haji)
Mon, 25 Dec 2023
(Christmas Day)
Fri, 7 Apr 2023
(Good Friday)*
Wed, 9 Aug 2023
(National Day)

*except Yale-NUS College Library

Opening hours are shortened on the following dates:
Additional notes:
C J Koh Law Library
Angsana Rooms 1 and 2 are open to NUS staff and students 24/7 during term time.
Wan Boo Sow Chinese Library (雲茂潮中文图书馆)
Closed 1-hour before Central Library's closing time during term time.

25 SEP - 01 OCT 2023

Sep 25 Mon

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Sep 26 Tue

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Sep 27 Wed

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Sep 28 Thu

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Sep 29 Fri

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Sep 30 Sat


Oct 01 Sun


25 SEP - 01 OCT 2023 Sep 25 Mon Sep 26 Tue Sep 27 Wed Sep 28 Thu Sep 29 Fri Sep 30 Sat Oct 01 Sun
Medicine+Science Library 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM CLOSED CLOSED
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