Centres of calculation and unruly colonists : the colonial library in Singapore and its users, 1874- 1900
Date of Issue2008
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Purpose: To show how the library management of the Raffles Library and Museum (the former name of the National Library of Singapore) positioned their library in relation to the wider colonial society of which it was a part. More widely, the aim is to explore the role of libraries within a colonial setting. Approach: Historical research using archival materials. Findings: The Raffles Library and Museum responded to the needs of two kinds of users: the potentially wayward colonist in need of “wholesome” recreation and the scientist/scholar involved in making Singapore a regional centre for the production of colonial knowledge. Originality/Value: While knowledge-producing institutions such as botanical gardens, zoological parks, museums of natural and human history, as well as anthropological and geographical societies now feature prominently in discussions of British colonialism, the colonial library has been overlooked. This paper represents a start at bringing the colonial library into focus as an institutional node designed to sustain colonial endeavors.
DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Administration and management
Journal of documentation
© 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Journal of Documentation, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00220410810867597.