Kevin Y.L. Tan, Of Whales and Dinosaur. The Story of Singapore’s Natural History Museum. Singapore: NUS Press, 2015, 286 pp. ISBN 9789971698553 (hardback); 9789814722131 (paperback)

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Abstract

Kevin Y.L. Tan’s history of Singapore’s natural history museum is an informed addition to a growing body of studies on the history of biology in colonial and post-colonial Southeast Asia. Founded in 1874, the museum in Singapore gradually developed into a hub for biodiversity research and education in the Malay Peninsula. The museum, which is nowadays called Lee Kong Chian Natural History, holds around a million samples of prepared plants, animals, and minerals. Tan’s study is well-researched and contains more than sixty illustrations, ranging from architectural sketches to mounted specimens, pictures of exhibits, and portraits of curators and staff. The lack of a strong analytical framework is partly compensated for by Tan’s ability to weave interesting empirical details into a well-composed narrative of the museum’s evolution over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-151
JournalBijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde
Volume172
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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