Marjorie Doggett’s Singapore, A Photographic Record

Author: Edward Stokes
Publisher: The Photographic Heritage Foundation (HK) with NUS Press, Singapore (2019)
Format: English hardback, 254mm x 280mm, 192 pp.
Photos: Mainly duotone with some colour
ISBN: 978-981-3250-90-1 (case)


The book records the work of the pioneer photographer Marjorie Doggett. From 1952–57 she roamed Singapore capturing for posterity the then colony’s cityscapes with striking images and text.

The photos and narratives in Marjorie Doggett’s Singapore offer a fresh presentation. Many of the book’s photos have not been previously published. The work reflects on Marjorie Doggett’s thoughts that vividly captured 1950s Singapore, then on the cusp of great change.

Doggett’s 1957 Characters of Light is considered a classic photo book on Singapore. Marjorie Doggett’s Singapore offers the reader a new, wide-ranging view of Singapore and Doggett’s life. The photographs are enriched with evocative texts by Edward Stokes.

Marjorie Doggett recalled, “As night descends, heralded by a short twilight and a sunset that is often a riot of colour… we know that Singapore has taken a part of our hearts for her own.”

Born in England, Marjorie arrived in Singapore in 1947 with her future husband, Victor Doggett. Far more than most expatriates, they lived beside the city’s other communities. Singapore took hold of them and they made it their home.

Eric Chin (left), then Director of the National Archives of Singapore, and Nick Doggett (right). The photo shows the 22 June 2016 signing of the Deed of Gift, for the donation to the Archives of Marjorie Doggett’s materials.

Photo copyright: National Archives of Singapore

This publication is based on the Marjorie Doggett Collection held by the National Archives of Singapore. This material was donated to the National Archives in 2016 by Nicholas Doggett, the son of Marjorie and Victor Doggett. The Collection is a unique body of photographs and documents.

‘The Photographic Heritage Foundation”, Edward Stokes, Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation and the other book partners are to be congratulated on their combined commitment to bring together this engaging and impressive publication. I look forward to The Photographic Heritage Foundation’s series of planned books arising from its ongoing research into photographic archives in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and elsewhere.’

Gael Newton AM, Curatorial Consultant, Former Senior Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra