Past Directors

R. Hanitsch
1860 - 1940

In 1895, Hanitsch came to Singapore to assume appointment as Curator and Librarian in the Raffles Museum, Singapore where he served till 1919. His major field of interest was entomology and not surprisingly a large part of his publications were on insects, especially cockroaches. He also produced a guidebook on the exhibits at the Raffles Museum.

Cecil Boden Kloss
1877 - 1949

In 1908, Cecil Boden Kloss joined the staff at the museum of Kuala Lumpur where he worked under H. C. Robinson and travelled in the region collecting specimens, especially of birds and mammals. He took over the directorship of the Raffles Museum from Major Moulton in 1923. When he retired from Singapore in 1932, he had become the foremost systematist on mammals and birds of Southeast Asia, with a long series of papers to his credit.

Frederick Nutter Chasen
- 1942

In 1921, Chasen was appointed the Assistant Curator of the Raffles Museum. He became the Director in March 1932 and held this appointment until his death. Chasen’s association with H. C. Robinson and C. B. Kloss confirmed his early love of birds and introduced him to the study of mammals. He had collected specimens from many places in Southeast Asia and was a well-known authority on Malaysian birds and mammals, having authored and co-authored many scientific publications on these topics. Chasen perished at sea when fleeing Singapore in 1942 during World War II.

Michael Wilmer Forbes Tweedie
1907 - 1993

Tweedie joined the staff of the Raffles Museum in 1932 as Assistant Curator. Between 1932 and 1941, he was the curator, and following the retreat of the Japanese invaders after the Second World War, became the Director of the museum in 1946. He served in that position for 25 long years. Tweedie was involved in many expeditions around Southeast Asia and had collected many specimens himself. During his tenure at the Raffles Museum, Tweedie published many scientific articles on a variety of animals, especially crustaceans, fish and reptiles. He also wrote many books to encourage the layman in the study of natural history. Tweedie was present at the official opening of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

Carl A. Gibson-Hill
1911 - 1963

Gibson-Hill was appointed the curator of the Raffles Museum in 1947, and became its Director in 1957. He was the last expatriate director of the Raffles Museum. A keen naturalist and a dedicated scientist, Gibson-Hill’s interest was mainly in birds. He was found dead in his home in Singapore a few days before he was to relinquish the post of director in August 1963.

Eric R. Alfred

Alfred joined the Raffles Museum when he took over as Curator of zoology in 1957. He was appointed Director in 1967 after a year’s attachment at the British Museum of Natural History and the Natural History Museum of Leiden in The Netherlands. The museum had, by then, changed its name to National Museum. Alfred was trained as an ichthyologist and he had actively collected and published on fishes from Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. When the zoological collection was transferred out of the National Museum in 1972, Alfred left to join the Maritime Museum on Sentosa. He is now retired.

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