The National Library is a national knowledge institution empowering individuals and businesses with knowledge and information as it continuously expands its vast array of reference collections and services. It preserves and makes accessible Singapore’s literary and publishing heritage, and intellectual memory through the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library occupying seven floors (from Level 7 to 13) with a floor area of 60,000 square metres.
The National Collection forms the core collection of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library with over 1.7 million items. The National Collection aims to have a comprehensive collection of publications about Singapore, in the four official languages. Its strength lies in the areas of history, politics, economics, socio-cultural development and the arts. In addition to print publications, the National Collection also includes original and unpublished materials, both in physical and digital formats. These include manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, maps, microfilms, audio-visual materials, ephemera, registers and records.
The National Collection is supported by the Legal Deposit function of the National Library Board Act, which requires two copies of every physical publication and one copy of every digital publication distributed in Singapore to be deposited.
The collection is a repository of the creative and intellectual output of Singapore with print works that span the diverse fields of literary and visual arts, business, social sciences and humanities. Of note are research materials on the social and economic policies of Singapore, in particular government publications such as the official gazettes, parliamentary reports, select committee reports, transcripts of selected ministerial speeches, reports of government departments and ministries as well as master and concept plans. These resources address various aspects of national development such as urban planning, healthcare, education, economic strategy, population, tourism, public housing and so on.