:: Introduction  
The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, the first building to come up at the southern end of the Esplanade, has since its completion in 1870, been a landmark. Today the building finds itself in the list of 145 old building which have been declared as protected monuments by the government.
The idea was originally conceived way back in 1847 by a few young mechanics working in the Royal Mint and Government Dockyard, who decided to form an association to promote knowledge and learning. The association's objectives at that time were to set up a library and museum of mechanical models and architectural designs, as well as to organize lectures and discussions on science and technology.
Thus was born the Sassoon Mechanic's Institute. However, with the stoppage of the annual grant by the Imperial Government, its activities gradually came to a standstill, until the institute was reduced to its present state, namely a library and a reading room. Consequently in March 1938, the Sassoon Mechanics' Institute was rechristened the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room.
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