Flanked by office buildings and a coca-cola vending machine, the Singapore Philatelic Museum has a distinct colonial flair and a unique way of preserving some of Singapore’s cultural and physical history. With five permanent exhibits and a variety of traveling and themed temporary galleries, the Museum boasts files of every Republic of Singapore stamp issued, all available for the perusal of visitors.
Their mission is to help promote the use of philately (the collection and study of stamps) for educational purposes, as stamp design is often a great historical indicator of how the public, government, and culture as a whole related to internal and external events of the given time period.
The Museum was opened on August 19, 1995, housed in a building that was once part of the Anglo Chinese school dating back to 1906. Designed by Tomlinson and Lermit Architects, the building was commissioned by the Trustees of the Anglo Chinese School as an addition to the 1897 Oldam Hall. It was then used as a Methodist Book Room from 1970 until its restoration as the Singapore Philatelic Museum in 1995. The Museum is currently a fully owned subsidiary of the National Heritage Board.
Not just for stamp buffs, the Museum offers a view into the traditions and cultures of a multi-ethnic Singapore as captured on stamps throughout the decades, as well as demonstrates the process of stamp production through guest-interactive activities and exhibits. The main collection is the Straits Settlements Collection, displaying stamps and other postal archival material as early as 1854. Other exhibits include the importance of stamp collecting, the secrets behind folded letters and stamp designs, 18th century philatelic rarities, and a Heritage Room providing insight into lifestyles past.