Previous MSc Theses

2019 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014
2013 | 2012

"Development of Chinese Libraries in 20th Century Singapore." O. Z. Jia. I. Ruthven. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2019. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

By the late 19th century, the Chinese community had surpassed other races in Singapore to
make up more than 70 per cent of the nation’s population. Majority of the Chinese during the 19th and 20th century was not highly educated nor well-to-do. Yet, the first “modern”
library that was established in Singapore was beyond the means of the Chinese mass as it
was not only expensive to access, it was also primarily a pro-English library that catered to
the leisure and scholarly needs of the Europeans. Thus, the question of whether there were
any institutions established to provide reading and research materials to the Chinese
community arose.
This dissertation is a study of the Chinese Libraries built in Singapore during the 20th
century. This paper aimed to understand the types of Chinese Libraries available through
the examination of the collection of, membership of, cultural activities organised by and
reputation of these libraries. Though the lens of important political, social, cultural and
economic events, the paper looked at factors that not only led to the emergence of these
libraries but also influenced and helped shaped these libraries.