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SPH and NLB Sign Agreement for Digitisation of ST Archives Digitised archives available to public from second half of 2008

SINGAPORE, 31 July 2007 - The National Library Board (NLB) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) today signed an agreement to digitise The Straits Times (ST) archives dating as far back as 1845. The digitised archival content will be made available to the public at NLB libraries for individual research and reference purposes from the second half of 2008.

As part of NLB´s Library 2010 plan to help build Singapore´s collection of knowledge and literary assets, the National Library seeks collaborative relationships in which mutual benefits can be derived. The Straits Times, with its 162-year old history, possesses a rich record of Singapore and the region throughout the years. In collaborating with the National Library, all available printed copies of The Straits Times will be digitised and made easily accessible to the public within NLB´s network of libraries in Singapore.

Access and use of the digitised news content will be restricted to non-commercial uses in line with NLB´s function in overseeing the National Library and public libraries. The National Library may also re-package the content to develop information products and services for personal and non-commercial reference work and research.

“With such accessibility to news archives dating as far back as 1845, we hope that Singaporeans, especially those keen on tracing the roots of Singapore, will find this a godsend in travelling back to Singapore´s past while comfortably seated in the National Library, or any one of our regional or community libraries island-wide“, said Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive of NLB.

In its efforts to widen its delivery channels, Singapore Press Holdings found the collaboration an opportune avenue to preserve the rich history of its flagship newspaper via digitisation and at the same time, provide ease of accessibility to its archives for the public.

“This partnership with NLB is an extension of SPH´s on-going efforts to create broader access and increase usage of our newspapers beyond their current print version. The Straits Times is noted for its credible and high quality content, with accurate news and intelligent commentaries and analyses. We aim to make our national daily the leading resource of choice for academic, business and student users as it becomes available at all public libraries. In time to come, we hope that other SPH newspapers will be digitised in the same manner, to reach out to the global readership,” said Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Press Holdings.



Jointly issued by the National Library Board and Singapore Press Holdings.
Wong Wai Quen (Mr)
Executive
Corporate Communications Division
National Library Board
DID: 6332 1873
Fax: 6332 3616
H/P: 9638 5648
Email: Wai_Quen_WONG@nlb.gov.sg
Yeo Siew Chi (Mr)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Division
Singapore Press Holdings
DID: 6319 1586
Fax: 6319 8150
H/P: 9749 5105
Email: yeosc@sph.com.sg

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About National Library Board

Established on 1 September 1995, the National Library Board’s mission is to provide a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service so as to promote a knowledgeable and engaged society. NLB oversees the management of the National Library, including the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, three regional libraries, 20 community libraries, 10 community children’s libraries, as well as over 30 libraries belonging to government agencies, schools and private institutions. Through its innovative use of technology and collaboration with strategic partners, NLB ensures that library users have access to a rich array of information services and resources that are convenient, accessible and useful. More information on NLB can be found on www.nlb.gov.sg


About Singapore Press Holdings

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 100 million pageviews with 6 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH´s other online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; recruitment and job search service, ST701; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road