The librarian’s on it

I wrote earlier about the ‘drug lord’ turned philantropist Tan Seng Poh and his mansion near the Armenian Church, and about how I asked the National Library’s “Ask a librarian” librarian to locate the site of Seng Poh’s house.

He’s (the librarian, not Tan Seng Poh) emailed to tell me that he and his colleagues are on the case, and that though they haven’t any answers yet, they’ll be looking through Chinese archives and material from the pre-1900s for possible information:

Dear Sir,

At this moment I’m still unable to locate Seng Poh new building.
Information (in English) on Tan Seng Poh is limited. I’ve looked at old
Singapore maps as well as the Straits Directory from the period before
1900, but so far no luck yet. I’ve enlisted the help of my Chinese
colleagues to help with the Chinese resources, and hopefully we shall be
able to provide the answer to your enquiry soon.

Thank you.

I’ve known about this reference library service since the Rambling Librarian pointed me to it when I had a previous question not resolved through rigorous Googling and Yahoo Answering, and I think it’s a great resource of last resort. I emphasize the phrase “last resort”. At least Google it first, can?

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6 thoughts on “The librarian’s on it”

  1. “At least Google it first, can?” just cracked me up. On one hand, some librarians would lament that people choose to use Google first, rather than hit the physical library or consider a librarian first. On the other hand, some questions are quite easily found via Google that it’s more efficient if they try a search on Google first. So I’m not quite sure whether to agree or disagree with you, LOL.

  2. “At least Google it first, can?” just cracked me up. On one hand, some librarians would lament that people choose to use Google first, rather than hit the physical library or consider a librarian first. On the other hand, some questions are quite easily found via Google that it’s more efficient if they try a search on Google first. So I’m not quite sure whether to agree or disagree with you, LOL.

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