Exploring ISEAS Library’s Digital Archives: The New SEALionPLUS

Did you know that the ISEAS Library is home to the private papers of David Marshall, Singapore’s first chief minister? And that it holds extensive images collected by Made Wijaya, the architect known for his Bali-inspired landscapes and designs?

While these primary materials continue to be carefully preserved by the Library, we are also progressively digitising them to facilitate access to everyone who is interested in the collections.

Enter SEALionPLUS, the Library’s database of digital and digitised materials. First developed in 2015, SEALionPLUS extends the Library’s print materials catalogue, SEALion (short for Southeast Asia Library Integrated Online). Eight years on plus a major upgrade, we’re now launching the new and improved SEALionPLUS, to make discovering and accessing these collections easier.

The new system is a user-friendly and (we hope!) intuitive platform, with a powerful search function that helps you easily locate and retrieve materials relevant to your interest. You can begin your discovery of the collections right on the homepage. Browse the collections and themes on the top panel or visit the collections directly at their hub pages.

The home page on the new SEALionPLUS.

Hub pages

Each collection now has a hub page, your very first stop to getting started with the collections. These help in understanding more about the collections, how they are organised, and how to access them. Some collections like the Private Papers have finding aids and dedicated searches to help you navigate the collection and identify materials relevant to your research.

The hub page of the Alex Josey Private Papers on SEALionPLUS.

Improved interface and navigation within documents and between items

Where possible, we are making document outlines available for easy navigation to specific sections within a folio (see left panel in the image below). The Details panel on the right provides metadata information such as a description, subject or keywords, and period covered.  Simply click on any available link within the details panel to discover similar items in SEALionPLUS.

Display of a page from Folio AJ_004 of the Alex Josey Private Papers on SEALionPLUS.


Found any interesting items across various collections and want to bookmark them? The tools on the left panel of every page can help! You can either revisit your viewing history for the current session, or bookmark specific items in your own collections using the “My Collection” tool. For information on these tools and on your SEALionPLUS account, click on the “More” link at the bottom of the panel to access the User Guide and FAQs.

(Please note that the “My Basket” tool is not in use at this point.)

The “My Collection” tools available on SEALionPLUS.


SEALionPLUS houses many types of materials about Southeast Asia, across a range of subjects from various time periods. Unique collections such as Vanessa Chan’s sarsikyo (Burmese religious dedicatory ribbons) collection and Prof Ding Choo Ming’s pantun collection continue to be available on the new SEALionPLUS. Newly available collections include a selection of our antiquarian books, photographs from the Southeast Asia Cultural Collection (SEACC), as well as the S. Q. Wong Image Collection, which is part of the S. Q. Wong Private Papers.

Image CN000085 from the Cecilia Ng Photograph Collection on SEALionPLUS.
Image SQW_IMG_025_002 from the S.Q. Wong Image Collection on SEALionPLUS.

We have also brought together several publications by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute for easy access, including recordings of the Institute’s signature events and selected ISEAS newsletters and papers dating back to 1999. More items and collections will progressively be added, so do check back often!

Register now for your SEALionPLUS account here and Get Started on your exploration of the ISEAS Library digital archives!

In making materials available online, the ISEAS Library always does its best to meet the requirements of copyright and other laws. If you have concerns about any material that ISEAS Library has placed online and want to suggest that it be taken down, please contact us at iseaslib@iseas.edu.sg.