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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Historical Objects at the National Museum of Singapore

Highlights of the National Museum of Singapore

Highlights of the National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore has a large permanent gallery space known as the Singapore History Gallery. It features the history of Singapore from the 14th century.

Explore the National Museum of Singapore

  • Abraham Ortelius Map of Southeast Asia
    • The Abraham Ortelius Map of Southeast Asia created in 1570 shows the Malay Peninsula as an elongated extension of mainland Southeast Asia. Modern-day Singapore is depicted and labelled as “Cincapura”. This map is illustrated with mermaids and imaginary sea monsters.
  • Jacques-Nicolas Bellin Map of the Straits of Malacca
    • “Jacques-Nicolas Bellin Map of the Straits of Malacca”, is a maritime map of Singapore and Governor’s Straits dating to 1755. This map shows landmarks along the western coast of the Malay Peninsula, including an island named Pulo ou Isle Panjang meaning “Long Island” which is modern-day Singapore. The purpose of this map was to provide the best maritime charts for the French ships that were competing against the British. Jacques Nicolas Bellin was a French hydrographer, geographer and member of the French intellectual group called the philosophes and when this map was made he was head of the French Hydrographic Office.
  • Melaka Print, 1750
    • “Melaka” is a print depicting Meleka of the 1750s. It shows Portuguese-built fortifications at the mouth of the Melaka River with Dutch ships in the foreground. This print is from a 15-volume publication “Histoire générale des voyages” by Antoine François Prévost. Antoine François Prévost d’Exiles (1697 – 1763) usually known simply as the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist. This print illustrated Meleka in Abbé Prévost’s book called “General History of Travel”.
  • Aceh Print
    • This print depicts Banda Aceh in the 1750s with Dutch East India Company ships in the foreground. This panoramic view shows the early settlements amongst the rice fields. The print was produced by Jacques Nicolas Bellin a French hydrographer, geographer and member of the French intellectual group called the philosophes and when this print was made, he was head of the French Hydrographic Office.
  • Portrait of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles
    • This “Portrait of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles” depicts Raffles as youthful and knowledgeable, surrounded by symbols of his scholarly work. He was an amateur writer and wrote “The History of Java” in 1817. He is shown with a manuscript in his hand sitting at his writing desk with sculptures from Java, where he contributed to the expansion of the British Empire. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781 – 1826) was a British statesman, Lieutenant-Governor of British Java and Governor-General of Bencoolen, a British possession in Sumatra based in the area of what is now Bengkulu City. He is best known for his founding of Singapore.
  • Historical Objects at the National Museum of Singapore
    • More highlights will be added after our next trip to Singapore.
  • National Museum of Singapore
    • The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in Singapore, and it started as a section of a library at Singapore Institution and called the Raffles Library and Museum. The museum focuses on exhibits related to the history of Singapore, and it is one of four national museums.

Explore Singapore’s Museums

Explore Asian Museums

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“A given excuse that was not asked for, implies guilt.”
– Singaporean / Malay Proverb

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Photo Credit: GM

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