Bookworms will understand - there’s something magical about trawling the seemingly endless shelves of a library, especially those gorgeous high-ceilinged ones like the 5 must-visit libraries from all over the world that we’ve previously featured. There’s also the peculiar wormhole library in Hainan with futuristic cocoon-like tunnels, which can easily be mistaken for part of a Sci-fi movie set.
Little do many know, Singapore has her own grand-looking library that could possibly rank among those world-famous ones. And no, we’re not talking about the minimalist [email protected] or sea-facing [email protected]; This hidden gem is the Rotunda Library & Archive at National Gallery Singapore, and it looks like something straight out of Beauty and the Beast.
Read on to find out more about the Rotunda Library at National Gallery Singapore!
Unlike most other libraries in Singapore we’re familiar with, the Rotunda Library & Archive is not under the National Library Board (NLB). It’s part of the National Gallery and hosts a supply of over 20,000 art-related books and digital resources, many of which are rare titles that are not readily available elsewhere in Singapore.
This prized collection has been made possible through donations, loans, and exchanges with libraries from other countries.
Some examples of what you can find in the Rotunda Library & Archive include art history books, artist-related materials and resources, and old archives of sketches and photographs from the past.
Book collection aside, the stunning architecture of the Rotunda Library & Archive cannot be ignored. This 2-storey annex is supported by towering Roman columns, leading up to a high dome-shaped ceiling with curved windows along its diameter. What a sight to behold!
Aside from the rustic wooden desks arranged in a circular formation in the middle, there are other reading nooks dotted around this library.
Some of the shelves are so high that they require a sliding ladder to access - bringing to mind that Beauty and the Beast scene where Belle was swinging across her favourite bookstore’s catalogues. Please don’t do that here though. :P
The Rotunda Library & Archive at National Gallery Singapore offers free entry and you do not have to make a prior booking in order to go in. Do note that they are only open on weekdays, so you’ll have to take leave if you want to pay a visit.
Rotunda Library & Archive
Address: 1 St Andrew’s Road, Supreme Court Wing, Level 3, National Gallery, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10am - 12.30pm, 2pm - 5pm (Closed on weekends and PHs)
Telephone: 6690 9446
While here, check out our other book-related articles:
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Text by: GirlStyle SG