Of Whales and Dinosaurs: The Story of Singapore's Natural History Museum

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NUS Press, Apr 18, 2015 - Science - 266 pages

Singapore's collection of Southeast Asian animals–one of the world's largest–dates back to the old Raffles Museum, officially established in 1878.With the opening of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in 2015, the original Raffles Museum has "reincarnated" and the loop on its remarkable 127-year history has closed. 

     Beneath the sleek exterior of today's modern museum building lies a saga of titanic struggles and changes. That the collections survived at all–through the multiple challenges of the nineteenth century, the disruption of World War Two, and its potential disintegration in the face of Singapore's modernization–is nothing short of miraculous. This book is not only an institutional history of the museum but also tells the story of frustrations, commitment and courage of the numerous individuals who battled officialdom, innovated endlessly and overcame the odds to protect Singapore's natural history heritage.

     The book features 108 historical photographs and natural history illustrations printed in full colour throughout.


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About the author (2015)

 Kevin Y.L. Tan is Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore's and Adjunct Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

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