An Old New World Inner Banner

An Old New World: From the East Indies to the Founding of Singapore, 1600s–1819

21 Sep 2019 - 29 Mar 2020
Exhibition Galleries,
Basement Level
10am - 7pm
Free Admission for Citizens and Permanent Residents

AONW Inner Banner

Explore the 200 years leading up to the establishment of an entrepôt in Singapore in 1819, beginning with the bustling world of trade in the East Indies that attracted the Dutch and British East India Companies from the early 17th century. The European entry into the region, for better or worse, was only part of its longer history. This exhibition is a telling of that story, and a reflection of the broader forces at play that culminated in the events of 1819.

Join us on a journey to An Old New World, featuring over 220 artefacts including 75 loans from institutional and private collections, including precious personal collections and treasures from top international museums.

To promote sustainability, you are encouraged to download a copy of our exhibition brochure here. Limited copies are available at the visitors’ counter and exhibition entrance.


Join us on an enriching voyage to An Old New World! Explore the exhibition and collect these inspired artefact cards!

Collectible Cards

From now till 22 Mar 2020, complete your collection of 12 exclusive Artefact Cards, which will be released in two batches (6 cards each) in November 2019 and February 2020. Answer 3 questions correctly to receive 1 card. Collect them all and piece them together to identify the final mystery artefact that's also featured in the exhibition! The design of the cards are inspired by some of our artefacts displayed in An Old New World exhibition, and cards are issued randomly.

Continue your journey to our quiz booth outside the exhibition gallery, and stand a chance to win exciting prizes at our Grand Draw in March 2020, including an OSIM uDiva Star Massage Chair, 2D1N staycation at the Shangri-La Hotel, OSIM uScalp/uSqueez/uBuzz Handheld massager or Sudio Tolv Wireless Earpiece!
There are also 10 special prizes to be won each month from December to February.

December prizes: 10 x Irvin's Salted Egg Hamper

January prizes: 10 x Slappy Cakes Dining vouchers

February prizes: 10 x OSIM uScalp Handheld Massager

Start collecting today!

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Check out the exciting line-up of programmes held in conjunction with this exhibition here!

Complement your exhibition experience with our various learning resources!

Explorers Guide 

An Old New World Explorer’s Guide
Ages 7 – 12

Navigate through the exhibition with this booklet as a guide! With the help of fun activities and reflective questions, your child will examine artefact highlights, learn more about trade in the region from the 1600s–1800s, and better understand the experiences of explorers in the East Indies.

To promote sustainability, you are encouraged to download a copy of the booklet here.  Limited copies are available at the visitors’ counter and exhibition entrance.

Family Trail Image 

An Old New World Family Trail
Ages 5 and above

Parents of preschool-age children can pick up the Family Trail, a set of six thick-bound cards featuring activities and prompts to engage you with the exhibition as a family. What was it like to be an explorer at sea? What plants and animals were found in the East Indies? Who were the people and how was life like for them? Let’s find out more together!

To promote sustainability, you are encouraged to download a copy of the booklet here.
The Family Trail is available for loan only at the gallery entrance. Please return your trail when you exit the gallery.

AONW Investigating Singapore's History

An Old New World: Investigating Singapore’s History from Pre-Colonial to the Present
Ages 13 and above

Was Singapore a sleepy fishing village from 1600 to 1819? Pick up a copy of our learning booklet and visit our special exhibition to learn more about how Singapore was like at this point in history. Be amazed by stories of naval battles that happened along the busy waterways surrounding Singapore, and marvel at never-before-seen artefacts that show Singapore’s important economic links to the region and the wider world.

This learning booklet can be used as a tool for Historical Investigation or for our special edition Artefactually Speaking: A Museum-based Learning programme. Guided tours are also available for school groups and educators at scheduled timings. Please contact for more details.

To promote sustainability, you are encouraged to download a copy of the booklet here. Limited copies are available at the visitors’ counter and exhibition entrance.

Logo Plate

Family Time

Visit our permanent galleries with your little ones and play spot-the-artefact! Our colourful Early Learning Resources introduce pre-schoolers to our artefacts according to the themes of Numbers, Colours, and ABCs. Available at $8 per set from the Museum Label shop. For more children's activity booklets, click here.

Museum guide

Download our museum guide (English, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil) to find out about the many treasures in our various galleries. In this guide, you will also find the floor plan for easier navigation. Enjoy your visit!

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