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Sounds of Yesteryear: Singapore’s pre-war records go digital

Sounds of Yesteryear: Singapore’s pre-war records go digital

Sounds of Yesteryear: Singapore’s pre-war records go digital

Sounds of Yesteryear: Singapore’s pre-war records go digital

As part of a new initiative by the National Archives of Singapore, Sounds of Yesteryear uncovers 52 (out of 3500) of their pre-war records dated back between 1903 to 1941, digitizing them for public access online.

(Taken from National Archives of Singapore / Howard Lee)

“From all the early recordings, you can see that many artists actually came from around the region, say Penang or Jakarta. Many were drawn to Singapore, which was a recording hub at that point in time,” says NAS assistant archivist Jessica Yeo. According to Channel News Asia, all pre-war songs will uploaded over the course of this year onto the NAS website, and the delicate shellac records (which are a precursor to vinyl records) go through a gentle and time-consuming process of cleaning and air-drying before being recorded through a turntable to the computer.

Songs that are currently available online include two of Singapore’s earliest Malay recordings done in 1903, and also a 1920’s extract from a Chinese opera performed by Lao Sai Tao Yuan, Singapore’s oldest Teochew opera troupe.

Check out more about the initative from Channel News Asia here:

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