Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is BookSG?

    BookSG is a collection of books and other printed material digitized from the collections of the National Library of Singapore, complemented by selected works from the British Library's Oriental & India Office Collection. These material present a valuable resource on Singapore’s history and culture.

    The items in this online collection have been digitized by the National Library as part of an endeavor to preserve and provide better access to resources located within the library to enable users to explore and discover these resources.


  2. How do I search the collection?

    You can search for works relevant to your area of research by entering your search terms in the search box, which will locate works that contain information specified in the search - such as certain words in the document title or text or an author's name. From the search results, click on the document title to view the document.

    You can also browse the titles in the collection by clicking on the subject categories or the alphabetical listing.

    In addition, the website provides you the option to search for photographs and illustrations found within the digitised books. To limit the search to photographs and illustrations, click on the option "Illustrations" below the search box.


  3. Why are some titles available as limited preview only?

    These are publications acquired under Legal Deposit. As these publications are still under copyright, the fulltext of these publications are available for viewing within library premises only.

    However, a limited number of pages are available for viewing online, as a preview to the rest of the book. You can preview auto-selected 10% of the content from these titles. You can also view thumbnail images of illustrations found in these titles. This will help you determine whether a particular title is useful for your research.


  4. How can I view the full document of titles with limited preview?

    The full documents are available onsite within NLB libraries. To find out where the titles are available, click on the link "Click here for details".

    Please note that reservation is required for books from the Repository Used Book Collection. Reference books from the Repository Used Reference Books Collection may be reserved online via the Catalogue at However, library members need to collect and refer to them onsite at Lee Kong Chian Reference Library for 3 weeks only. Reservation fee of $1.55 per item applies


  5. How do I acquire a high-resolution digital copy of item(s) in the library’s collection?

    This service provides for the ordering of high-resolution digital copies of item(s) from the National Library’s collections.

    Items in our collection come from various sources, such as donors and partners, and as such the conditions for reproduction and use can vary.

    To acquire a non-exclusive, non-sub licensable, non-transferable right to use and reproduce the images in PictureSG/BookSG, please send the National Library of Singapore a request at

    In your request, please specify the following:

    • Item information, such as title and page number, website link etc.
    • Purpose of use, for example, exhibition, publication, video etc. Please provide as much detail as possible.

    Thereafter, we will advise on the permissions, availability of high-resolution copies, and the credit lines within 3-5 working days.

    Digital copies will be provided only upon payment of an amount consisting of an Archival and Administrative Fee. An Archival and Administrative Fee is charged in recognition of the cost of managing and preserving the items and in administering and servicing requests for copies.

    Orders for reproduction will be processed when all approvals for reproduction and use have been given and upon receipt of the applicable payment.

    The fee is as follows:

    ARCHIVAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE FEE (effective as of 20 February 2019)


    Unit of Charging



    Type 1 - Archival and Administrative Fee for non-commercial use
    - Any other use not defined in Type 2 Administrative Fee

    Per record



    Type 2 - Archival and Administrative Fee for commercial use
    - For use in products that generate sales and revenue with the end-beneficiary being private companies/individuals.
    - For use within advertisements for private companies/individuals.

    Per record




  6. Any feedback or question?

    If you have any feedback or question about BookSG, please forward it to, or submit your feedback/question via our online enquiry form Reference Point.