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Digital archiving of tributes to Mr Lee to take till year’s end

SINGAPORE — Work has begun on the digital archiving of tributes that members of the public left for the late Mr LeeKuan Yew and the process is estimated to take until the end of the year.

SINGAPORE — Work has begun on the digital archiving of tributes that members of the public left for the late Mr LeeKuan Yew and the process is estimated to take until the end of the year.

Every day since April 20, more than 50 volunteers and staff of the National Library Board (NLB) have helped process more than 65,000 articles. Telling how far along they are is tough though, as the many boxes of articles have not been sorted, while some tributes are continuing to trickle in nearly three months after Mr Lee died on March 23.

The tribute articles collected from the Istana, Parliament House, Community Tribute sites and public libraries come in all shapes and sizes, from handwritten notes and photo montages, to Chinese couplets, paper cranes and even children’s footprints.

There are also drawings of Mr Lee on trophies and plaques. The tributes are written in Singapore’s four official languages, as well as in Japanese, Vietnamese and other languages.

The archiving involves first sorting the articles by language, size and whether a tribute features a special encounter with Mr Lee, for example. They are then scanned or photographed and indexed.

The archived materials are uploaded onto the Singapore Memory Project portal (http://www.singaporememory.sg/campaigns/irememberleekuanyew), an NLB project that serves as Singapore’s collector of the nation’s memories, as part of the irememberLeeKuanYew Collection.

Yesterday, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim visited the archiving centre to thank the volunteers and staff. He said: “If we are able to digitise these (tributes), the most important legacy that we are able to leave behind is for future generations to understand what Mr Lee and the founding fathers stood for to build the city we have today.”

Speaking to youth volunteers, Dr Yaacob said: “I hope as you go through (the tributes), you glean some of the values Mr Lee and the founding fathers stood for, because these are the kind of values that we need going forward.”

Secondary 1 student Sandy Pratama, 13, said he decided to volunteer as he had missed the mourning period. “I wanted to see what the letters are like and how (people) felt.” REGINA MARIE LEE

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