Life in Singapore

by | January 19, 2024

The National Museum of Singapore is seeking objects and stories relating to life in Singapore between the 1920s to 1990s.


In line with the National Heritage Board’s Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0, the National Museum of Singapore is seeking objects and stories based on four key areas relating to life in Singapore between the 1920s to 1990s. These themes include:


  1. Women’s lives and opportunities such as work, education, leisure and self-expression from the 1920s and 1930s.


  • Women’s work: Tools of the trade of female clerks, barbers, teachers, nurses and other professions.
  • Women’s travel: Winter wear, souvenirs, passport, suitcases and memorabilia.
  • Women’s education: Women’s school clothing or uniforms, stationary, textbooks, report cards and diaries.


  1. Daily life during the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945.


  • Photographs of family members taken during the Japanese Occupation such as studio portraits, wedding photos, etc.
  • Documents with photos of individuals attached such as in application for permits, licenses, etc.
  • 3-D artefacts such as household or personal items used during the Occupation (including kuih molds, etc).
  • Magazines for their illustrations, photos of street scenes, etc, during this period (publications similar to the Syonan Gaho magazine).


  1. Childhood experiences of the 1950s and 1960s.


  • Objects and photographs from the Great World, Happy World and New World amusement parks from that period.
  • Home-made or hand-made toys such as kites, gasing (spinning tops) and wooden toys from that period.
  • Textbooks and other items from that period especially from vernacular or vocational schools.
  • Photographs of children from that period especially at and around their home.


  1. Singaporeans’ consumption of leisure (shopping, sightseeing, etc), popular entertainment (music, TV, film and theatre), and graphic design from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.


  • Radio and television programming in Singapore from that period: TV magazines and photos.
  • English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil theatre in Singapore from that period: Programme booklets, flyers, posters, scripts and/or even props from productions. • Singapore music scene during in the 1970s and 1980s: Vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, musical instruments, performance outfits, accessories and photographs featuring performing artistes active during the period.
  • Leisure destinations, attractions as well as performance and sporting venues dating from that period: Souvenirs and other memorabilia featuring local sights, entertainment spots, shopping centres, etc.
  • Singapore graphic design and graphic designers active in Singapore from the late 1960s to early 1990s: Institutions teaching and promoting design, works created by local graphic designers.


Selected submissions will be archived and may be displayed at the revamped permanent galleries that are slated to reopen in 2025 and 2026.

Please visit to submit your stories and photos of the items for this open call. This open call will run from now till May 15, 2024.


(** PHOTO CREDIT: National Museum of Singapore)



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