14 October 2020, 19:00 – 21:00 SGT

How have historical maps been made more accessible to interested publics?

This session allows us to hear from scholars and curators who have been involved in the development of public exhibitions and platforms used for sharing or accessing digitised historical maps.  Learn about their aims and objectives, the audiences they hope to engage and the challenges they have faced in sharing collections with interested publics.

Chair: Ms Chang Yueh Siang, Senior Curator, Digital Historical Maps, Yale-NUS

Ms Tan Huism
Director, National Library Singapore

Mapping stories

Maps form an important collection in national libraries around the world. This presentation will explore ways in which the National Library, Singapore has showcased maps through exhibitions and digital platforms to engage the public.


Mr Alasdair MacLeod & Dr Sarah Evans
Royal Geographical Society

Making geography public: sharing the RGS-IBG Collections with wider audiences 

In this talk, we will introduce the RGS-IBG Collections, and particularly the Map Collection which comprises around half of the Collections’ two million items. We will discuss the ways in which we work with multiple public audiences to both showcase these materials and encourage engagement with them. We will also consider the opportunities and challenges provided by new digital platforms through which we can share such materials, in light of the recent digitisations of large parts of the pre-1945 Collections, including substantial parts of the Map Collection.

About the speakers

Ms Tan Huism is a curator, the Director of the National Library, and former Deputy Director of Content and Services (Singapore, Southeast Asia Exhibitions). She has also held positions as a curator and then Deputy Director at the Asian civilisations Museum, a fellow at the National Heritage Board, and represents Singapore as a member with the International Federation of Library Associations.

Mr Alasdair MacLeod is the current Head of Enterprise and Resources at the Royal Geographic Society and former publishing director at the British Museum. His current work focuses on creating and expanding the digital archive of the Royal Geographic Society in collaboration with Wiley Digital Archives. This digital archive will enable researchers to access both published and unpublished materials and create new pathways for interdisciplinary research and education.

Dr Sarah Evans is an experienced events officer and researcher who has a background in working at the interface between learned societies, galleries and collections, and higher education. She has worked on numerous projects to bring together archival and research expertise to engage a wide range of audiences from student groups to the wider academic geographical community. Currently she is the Research and Collections Engagement Manager with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and worked on the Hero Project – a one year AHRC-funded project exploring the figure of the hero, past, and present as part of the “Care for the Future” research theme.

Ms Chang Yueh Siang possesses a background in the public history and museum profession, having worked as an exhibitions and collections curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at the NUS Museum. Most recently, she was responsible for leading a team at the Singapore Bicentennial Office, delivering content for all aspects of the project. She is currently serving as the Senior Curator, Digital Historical Maps at Yale-NUS College.