Getting Started in the Digital Humanities

This year, NUS Libraries launches two digital humanities projects. These projects are collaborative projects initiated and led by NUS Chinese Library with support from the Digital Humanities Team:

Chinese Clan associations are important nodes in the network of relationships amongst Chinese communities in Singapore. Many Associations were formed to assist early Chinese immigrants since the early 19th century, playing significant roles in the nation’s development and the identities of the communities they serve. This project maps out the distribution of Chinese Clan Associations on a web Geographic Information Systems (GIS) platform. An interactive interface allows users to visualise geographic patterns of dialect clan associations, establishment of clan associations over time, membership sizes of clan associations as well as view indexes of clan associations sorted by kinship, locality, name (Hanyu Pinyin) or year established.

本网站提供关于新加坡华人会馆的信息,不仅包括地缘(乡亲)和血缘(宗亲)会馆的基本信息,如中英文名称、成立年代、会所地址、联络信息、会员人数等,也利用地理信息系统 (Geographic Information Systems, 简称 GIS),提供会馆在新加坡地图中的确实位置,并且有影像提供会馆位置及其周围环境的画面,让使用者能立体地了解会馆。此外,本网站也有多个供研究者参考和使用的索引 (Index), 包括以汉语拼音按所有会馆名称、方言群和地缘 (locality) 会馆名称、姓氏和血缘 (kinship) 会馆名称以及会馆成立年代而编制的索引,以期成为研究者便利的研究工具。




This project presents a collection of mixed media artwork of places of worship by a local artist, Dr Ho Chee Lick from the Department of Chinese Studies in NUS. Plotted on an interactive map with 3D street view, the drawings illustrate Singapore’s multi-religious landscape. For each drawing, we list the names, address, year established, date of sketch as well as relevant literature and websites. An index of drawings has also been compiled.

The first phase (2015) showcases 169 drawings of predominantly Chinese temples and shrines of Buddhism, Taoism, popular religion and sectarian religions from antiquity to contemporary times. In the second phase (2016), we will add 112 drawings which include Islamic mosques, Indian temples, Sikh temples and churches.


本项计划于第一阶段(2015年)主要展示169幅新加坡华人庙宇作品。作品各具特色,涵盖本地佛教、道教及古代至当代的民间宗教信仰的庙宇。2016年,本计划将进入第二阶段,在本网站中加入华人庙宇以外的其他112幅画作,其中包括回教堂、印度庙宇、锡克庙宇以及基督教与天主教教堂 。


Please view the websites with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Singapore celebrates Open Access Week 2015


Open Access Week is upon us in Singapore again and we are gearing up to celebrate this event at NUS together with other local institutions like NTU, SMU and NIE. It has been announced that this year’s theme for the 8th International Open Access Week is “Open for Collaboration”.
For a friendly reminder on what open access is all about, you can watch this cute animated video that explains open access in publishing research work and how it benefits researchers and knowledge dissemination.



So are you ready for what we have in store for you at NUS Libraries and to start collaborating with your peers on open access?

NUS Libraries has organised a simple quiz which will test your knowledge about open access and how NUS Libraries supports this movement. It will be held until 30 Oct 2015 and is open to NUS students and staff, excluding NUS Library staff. So hurry on to the quiz and you may be lucky enough to win an iPod Shuffle or Starbucks vouchers! To enter the quiz, please visit here.

We will also be organising a couple of academic talks conducted by the publishers, Taylor & Francis and SAGE, which will be held on 21 and 22 Oct 2015 respectively. Taylor & Francis will be sending its speaker, Ms Wendy Wong, Managing Editor for Science and Technology journals, for an informative talk at Central Library, Theatrette 1 on 21 October at 10AM. If you want to join this talk, please register at this link.

Next on 22 October, we will have Ms Rosalia Da Garcia from SAGE who will present the talk titled “Simple Guide to Writing a Journal Article”, which covers publishers’ guidelines on journal articles, selecting the right journal to publish in and the various open access options for authors. Ms Garcia is currently the Executive Director, Consortia/Library Sales & Marketing, SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, and she is responsible for the strategic direction of the overall SAGE Asia Pacific sales and marketing initiatives. To register for this talk, please visit here.

But that is not all to celebrating Open Access Week – do remember to check out the other related open access events happening in Singapore and around the world! Below are some listed talks and webinars that NUS students and staff may be interested to participate in:

So join us in this annual celebration of open knowledge at NUS Libraries and we hope you will have gained a better understanding of how research work is being distributed and shared with open access, as well as the benefits of open access to researchers.

A random selection of Singapore-focused books in the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library collection

Koh W. 2015. The Top Toast: Ya Kun and the Singapore Breakfast Tradition (2nd ed.). Singapore: Cengage Learning. [call no. HD2346.12 Koh 2010]


Written by one of our very own Business School professors, the book looks at Ya Kun, a renowned Singapore brand. In addition to tracing the roots and development of Ya Kun from a small coffee shop in Telok Ayer to an Asia-spanning franchise, the book also delves into the organizational structure and culture of the company, provides a SWOT analysis, and looks into the leadership and human resource management of the company.


Chuan A. 2008. Towkay Ho Seh Boh: How to Become a Successful Towkay. Singapore: Rank Books. [call no. HF5349.12 Ah 2008]

This is a whimsical book on how to be successful in business, written in a down-to-earth fashion. Pithy advice is given out in Hokkien, which makes it rather quaint but very shiok (Singlish for feel- good). Some examples, kang lang ma si lang (Workers are humans too), lao sit si pun ji (Honesty is your Capital), and my personal favourite,  liu lian tua liap boh bao chiat (A big durian is not guaranteed to be ripe).



Hon J. 1984. Relatively Speaking. Singapore: Times Books International. [call no. DS599.51 Hon.H]


The book is a biography of Hon Sui Sen, the former Minister of Finance and one of the founding fathers of modern Singapore. Written by the eldest daughter of Mr Hon Sui Sen, the story begins in Balik Pulau, a rural village in Penang where Hon Sui Sen’s grandfather settled after leaving China. It ends with a newspaper article reprint of the building of the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library to commemorate Hon Sui Sen’s contribution to Singapore after his death. In between, Joan Hon wrote not only about her father, but also about their many relatives and friends.


The many photographs in the book also provide a glimpse into Hon’s public and private life. A bonus is a 1948 photo of a very young Lee Kuan Yew with Hon Sui Sen and Maurice Baker.



NB: All three books are available at the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library and Central Library.

Kho Su Yian
Business Resource Librarian
110C team

Exhibition and Talk on Chinese Education in Singapore @ Central Library

A traveling exhibition titled “Passion & Knowledge: Singapore Chinese Pioneers in Education” is being held at the NUS Central Library on Level 4 from 21 September to 31 October 2015. This English-Chinese bilingual exhibition is co-curated by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and Chung Cheng High School (Main), and features the contributions of four local Chinese business and education pioneers, namely Aw Boon Haw, Liew Yuen Sien, Tan Boo Liat and Tan Yeok Seong, who contributed much to the development of education in Singapore. The exhibition narrates a brief biography of the four pioneers, and highlights their contributions towards the Chinese society, in particular the educational and cultural sphere.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a Mandarin talk on Chinese Education in Singapore by Mr. Kua Bak Lim will be held at NUS Central Library Theatrette 1 (Level 4) on 30 September 2015 (Wednesday) from 4.00pm to 5.30pm. The co-organisers are NUS Chinese Library, The Chinese in Southeast Asia Research Group, NUS Department of Chinese Studies and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. We welcome NUS staff and students to attend the talk.

If interested, please register for the talk via this link: by 29 September 2015. Please see the poster below for details.




配合此次展览,“国大中文图书馆”、“国大中文系东南亚华人研究群” 和“晚晴园—孙中山南洋纪念馆”将于9月30日联办一场专题讲座:〈春风化雨一百年〉–从碑刻看新加坡华文教育。主讲人是柯木林先生(Mr. Kua Bak Lim)。有意出席讲座者请通过此链接提前报名:。详情请参考海报信息.


Introducing BrowZine — One App. NUS-Subscribed E-Journals. Everywhere You Go

What device do you prefer using when reading e-journal articles? A desktop or laptop for the comfort of a bigger screen but with the issue of bulk, or your mobile device for convenience, but with the hassle of zooming in and out for reading comfort?

Meet BrowZine, a new free app that lets you browse and search e-journals in one place, at your fingertips, and wherever you are. It allows you to keep up-to-date with the current articles from your favorite journals.



What can BrowZine do?

BrowZine creates an easy way to read and monitor scholarly e-journals across all disciplines. With BrowZine, you can:


  • Search and read thousands of NUS-subscribed e-journals on your mobile device anywhere, and anytime.


  • Create a personal bookshelf of your favorite e-journals, and get notified when new issues of these e-journals are available on the app.

IMG_3212 bz4

  • Save articles for offline reading, and export journal citations on EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and Dropbox.



  • Access NUS Libraries’ subscribed e-journals if you are an NUS staff or student, but public users could also use the app to read Open Access titles.

How do we sign up?

There is no need to create a BrowZine account; just download the app and select ‘National University of Singapore’ as your institution. Then log in with your NUSNET ID and password and you’re good to go!

Which platforms does BrowZine support?

BrowZine is supported on Apple’s iOS, Google Android and Amazon’s Kindle HD Fire tablets, which means you can download the app from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Amazon Kindle App Store on your smartphone and/or tablet.

What else do we need to know?

Curious about BrowZine? Find out more at our BrowZine libguide!


Raven Sim

NUS BrowZine Team

The Innovators and the Imitation Game

The innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution

In October 2011, Walter Isaacson published Steve Jobs, an authorized biography based on over forty interviews with Jobs over two-year period right up until shortly before his death. The book became an international best-seller, thus it was added into the NUS Libraries collection and became a short term loan book (popular book) in 2011.

Once again, Walter Isaacson published another best seller book in October 2014 “The innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution”. Instead of biographies, he explores the history of the key technological innovations that are prominent in the 21st century.

The book started with the story of Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter. She was often referred to as “the first programmer” as she published a set of extensive notes, simply called Notes which describe on a stepwise sequence of operations for solving certain mathematical problems. Also, she explicitly articulated her vision in having a machine that could go beyond mere calculation or number-crunching. Therefore, she was referred to as “prophet of the computer age” as well. The notion of using mathematical codes to instruct the machine to perform tasks beyond calculation derived from her “poetical science” mind-set. It was inherited from both her parents the mathematician Annabella Milbanke and the poet Lord Byron.



The innovators: how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution by Walter Isaacson is available at the Central Library (QA76.2 Isa 2014).

The Imitation Game

During the interview with Walter Isaacson in Episode 131 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, Isaacson mentioned that making people like Alan Turing to be famous was one of the reasons he wrote “The Innovator” book. However, the movie, “The imitation game”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch has done a better job than he ever could.

The movie was based on the real life story of Alan Turing who was a computer technology pioneer and breaker of the Nazi Enigma code during World War II (the first hacker as well?). In the movie, Alan Turing was interrogated by a detective and being questioned on a recent paper describing the “imitation game” which was known as the “Turing Test”.  The “Turing Test”, defined by Alan Turing in 1950 as the foundation of the philosophy of artificial intelligence which makes us think of the question, ‘Can machines think?’

Turing predicted that in 50 years there would be machines that could fool a human questioner 30% of the time for five minutes. Indeed, after more than 60 years, iPhone Siri could fool a human questioner most of the time longer than five minutes. iPhone Siri works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator as it understands our natural speech and asks questions if it needs more information to complete a task. If you want to know how Turing has demonstrated to the power of linking human creativity to computer processing power, come to the NUS library!

imitation game

The imitation game [videorecording] directed by Teddy Schwarzman; Benedict Cumberbatch is available at the Central Library CL Multimedia (Loans Desk 2 Stack# CMR5734).


Highlights from NUS Libraries’ collection – The Fabric of the Human Body

One of the prized possessions of the NUS Medical library is the, The Fabric of the Human Body, an annotated translation the 16th century book, De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius.

The original was published in Latin 500 years ago when Vesalius, considered the father of modern anatomy, was just 28 years old. It was the most detailed and accurately illustrated atlas of the human body of its time because very few physicians dissected human bodies before the late 15th century.

It is extolled as “probably the most influential of all medical works” by The Oxford Medical Companion and “the greatest medical work ever printed by Sir William Osler.

In today’s era of highly precise medical illustrations and digital cadavers, this book still resonates with readers in the 21st century for many reasons.

It is now available in English for the very first time so knowledge of Latin is no longer required. The translation of the book is hailed as a scholarly achievement in itself and is largely a result of twenty years of painstaking work by Northwestern University Professors Emeritus Daniel H. Garrison and Malcolm H. Hast.

Vesalius was a courageous and unconventional man who obtained bodies of executed criminals and robbed graves for dissection. He questioned the authority on anatomy then, Galen, whose text was largely based on the dissection of animals. The dialogue and footnotes in the translation preserves Vesalius’ account and captures the tensions inherent in describing science in 16th century Renaissance when scientific advances were made in many fields.

The illustrations provided by the more than 200 woodcuts in the original are now available in the new book as high-resolution digital scans which have unprecedented clarity.

The book looks like a modern textbook with easy referencing to previous chapters and editions and has explanation for all its diagrams. Weighing a massive 16 kg, this two-volume tome is the heaviest book in the Medical Library collection.


The frontispiece On the Fabric of the Human Body: Dissection by Vesalius as his students observed.


The 2014 edition in English with annotation is in two volumes and weighs 16kg.

The fabric of the human body: an annotated translation of the 1543 and 1555 editions / by Daniel H. Garrison, Malcolm H. Hast is available at Medical Reference 7 Call No: QM25 Ves 2014

R Sukanya Naidu

Medical Resource Librarian

NUS Libraries 110C team

Japanese and Chinese comparative Literature Series (In Japanese)

This set of series was compiled and edited by the Wakan Comparative Literature Association, Japan, and published by Kyūko Shoin. It consists of scholarly essays as well as reference bibliographies and collection catalogues.

The Wakan Comparative Literature Association mobilized all members to source for the research materials necessary for this series, hence making its compilation possible. At the same time, 150 members were involved in the writing of this series. It took the Association eight years to publish this series.

The publication of the series takes place in two phases. Phase I (volumes 1 to 8) comprises comparative literature from ancient times to the early modern period, whereas phase II (volumes 9 to 18) comprises comparative literature of various genres.

You may like to click on the following links to view the bibliographic records and the table of contents of this series:

Wa-Kan hikaku bungaku sōsho / Wa-Kan hikaku bungaku gakkai hen. – Tokyo : Kyūko Shoin, 1986-1994. (18 volumes)

v.1. Wa-Kan hikaku bungaku kenkyū no kōsō – v.2.Jōdai bungaku to Kanbungaku  – v.3-4.Chūko bungaku to Kanbungaku – v.5-6. Chūsei bungaku to Kan bungaku– v.7.Kinsei bungaku to Kanbungaku – v.8.  Wa-Kan hikaku bungaku kenkyū no shomondai – v.9.Man’yōshū to Kanbungaku – 10.Kiki to Kanbungaku – v.11. Kokinshū to Kanbungaku– v.12. Genji monogatari to Kanbungaku – v.13. Shin kokinshū to Kanbungaku – v.14. Setsuwa bungaku to Kanbungaku – v.15. Gunki to Kanbungaku– v.16. Haikai to Kanbungaku – v.17.Edo shōsetsu to Kanbungaku – v.18. Wa-Kan hikaku bungaku no shūhen









和汉比较文学丛书 / 和汉比较文学会编. — 东京:  汲古书院, 1986-1994. (共十八卷)
v.1. 和汉比文学的构想 – v.2.上代文学与汉文学 –v.3-4.中古文学与汉文学 – v.5-6.中世文学与漢文学– v.7.近世文学与漢文学 – v.8. 和汉比较文学研究的诸问题 – v.9.万叶集与漢文学 – 10.记纪与漢文学 – v.11.古今集与漢文学– v.12.源氏物语与漢文学 – v.13. 新古今集与漢文学 – v.14. 说话文学与漢文学 – v.15.军记与漢文学– v.16.俳谐与漢文学 – v.17.江户小说与漢文学 – v.18. 和汉比较文学与周边

Celebrating NUS110 & SG50 through music


As NUS celebrates its 110th year of founding and Singapore’s 50th year of independence, we are proud to display the musical works of local composers and performers in the Music Library. Among the many talents, musicians described here are only some examples like many others who have contributed to teaching, composing and performing through their music. Zubir Said, Leong Yoon Pin, Margaret Tan, Lynnette Seah, Goh Soon Tioe and Vivien Goh, among others, received the Cultural Medallion in recognition of their services and contributions to the community.


Zubir Said

Zubir Said was primarily remembered for composing Singapore’s national anthem, “Majulah Singapura” (“Onward Singapore”). His songs were traditional and patriotic, and his music evoked a sense of national pride. In recognition of his contributions to the State, Zubir was conferred the Sijil Kemuliaan (Certificate of Honour) on 16 March 1963 and the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star) in the same year. In 1971, he received the Jasawan Seni (Cultural Medallion) award from eight Malay cultural organizations. He also received the Asean Cultural and Communications Award in 1987. In addition, the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) awarded him the Certificate of Commendation for composing the AUPE song. In 1995, Zubir was posthumously given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS). The address of the permanent campus for the School of the Arts, 1 Zubir Said Drive, is in honor of the late composer.


Leong Yoon Pin

Leong Yoon Pin started his career as an educator at the Teachers’ Training College in 1951. He held various positions, as lecturer and later as Head of Music, when the College was renamed the Institute of Education. Through his roles as Arts Advisor to the National Arts Council, National Institute of Education and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, he was involved in charting the course of the local music and music education. Though he took on many roles namely as composer, educator and conductor, Leong was mainly known as a composer.  As a conductor, Leong founded and conducted the Rediffusion Youth Choir in 1951, and later the Metro Philharmonic Society in 1959. He was appointed Resident Conductor of the National Theatre Orchestra in 1969 and was Resident Conductor of the Singapore National Theatre from 1977 until 1979. In 2000, he was the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s first Composer-in-Residence. Leong was honored with the Cultural Medallion in 1982, the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (BBM) in 2005 and the COMPASS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.


Lynnette Seah

Lynnette Seah was only 21 when she joined the newly formed Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in 1979 as a violinist. She rose from deputy leader to associate leader and finally co-leader. In 1987, Lynnette, together with three other SSO violinists, formed the SSO String Quartet. When the SSO celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009, Lynnette took center stage with her solo performance of German composer Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. She serves as an ambassador for classical music in Singapore and is also involved in nurturing the next generation of musicians, conducting masterclasses for violinists of all ages. Lynnette was presented the Cultural Medallion in 2006 and honored with the inaugural Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame Award in March 2014.


Margaret Tan

The Singapore-born but New York-based Margaret Tan has established herself as a major force in the American avant-garde through her boundary-defying contributions on both the piano and toy piano. Hailed as the “diva of avant-garde pianism” by the New Yorker magazine and the “queen of the toy piano” by The New York Times, she is also a renowned John Cage interpreter.  Margaret became the first woman to receive a Julliard doctorate in 1971, and is a leading figure in experimental music.  She has accompanied the New York Philharmonic, is the first Singaporean soloist to play at Carnegie Hall and received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the State University of New York in 2011. Like Lynnette Seah, Margaret was also inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014.


Goh Soon Tioe

Musicians Goh Soon Tioe and his daughter, Vivien, were also honored for their services and contributions to music. In his illustrious teaching years, Goh Soon Tioe produced Singapore’s musical prodigies like Dick Lee, Lynnette Seah, Kam Kee Yong, Seow Yit Kin, Melvyn Tan, Choo Hoey and Lim Soon Lee. He had a successful musical career as Conductor of the Singapore Youth Symphony Orchestra between 1971 and 1975, and founded the Goh Soon Tioe String Orchestra. He was awarded Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Meritorious Service Medal) for his achievements and contributions to Singapore.


Vivien Goh

Much like her father Goh Soon Tioe, Vivien is an accomplished violinist.  She too played a key role in the development of classical music in Singapore. She is best known for her contributions to music education during her time as music director and conductor of the Singapore Youth Orchestra. For her contributions to Singapore’s classical music education, Vivien was awarded the Cultural Medallion for Music in 1983.


Do check out the works by these musicians and more in the library as we celebrate NUS110 and SG50!


~NUS Music Library

Rounding Up — NUS Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Events (Semester 2, Academic Year 2014/2015)

NUS Libraries supports Green Open Access, one of the two common open access options through which researchers can freely share their scholarly work. Last year, we wrote about open access and introduced our institutional repository ScholarBank@NUS in celebration of the seventh international Open Access Week.

As part of the Library’s continuous efforts to encourage knowledge sharing and open access, our Scholarly Communication team regularly organizes academic publishing talks to support the University in its research initiatives. Here is a summary of the events that have taken place in Semester 2.


  1. Publishing in peer-reviewed journals (5 January 2015)

Professor Philip H. Phan, Vice-Dean of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and NUS Visiting Professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Professor Phan introduced the fundamentals of writing quality research papers and shared the dos and don’ts of getting published in peer-reviewed journals. His talk included topics such as:

  • Positioning the research question
  • Preparing the manuscript for initial review
  • Using proper language in writing the manuscript
  • Knowing the basic ethics in publishing
  • Conducting a review
  • Getting your research paper noticed



  1. Workshop on writing and presenting quality conference papers (16 February 2015)

NUS Visiting Associate Professor Joseph Kasser

This is the first full-day writing workshop organized by the Library. Professor Kasser demonstrated the step-by-step process of writing a good conference paper and presenting it effectively at symposiums. Participants in this workshop were actively involved in the various hands-on exercises, including forming their own teams in discussions, and coming up with their own presentations during the event. Professor Kasser even shared real-life examples of good and bad writing in conference papers, as well as his own experiences and tips in producing quality papers for reading and presentation at the symposiums.



  1. An inside guide to publishing in academic journals (10 March 2015)

Dr. José Oliveira, Editor-in-Chief of Wiley Publishing



[Dr. José Oliveira giving the audience an insider’s guide of the different roles in academic publishing]

This was an event that presented the academic publishing process from the publisher’s perspective. Dr. Oliveira provided an insight into the academic publishing industry, including the different roles of the editorial and production structure, the peer review and technical workflows, what editors look for in manuscripts, and how to get your paper accepted by editors. He also shared tips on what to do with reviewer comments and how to find the right journal to publish your papers in.



  1. Research data management using figshare and Altmetric (13 April 2015)

Dr. Daniel Hook, Director of Research Metrics for Digital Science


[Dr. Daniel Hook sharing with the audience the benefits of using figshare and Altmetric to enhance their research output]


In this talk, Dr. Hook introduced the audience to figshare and Altmetric, and the benefits of using these two tools to share their academic works. For example:

  • As a digital repository, figshare allows researchers to quickly upload and share their research output in any format, including datasets, images, audio and videos freely online. They are also credited for all forms of their research, including the unpublished portions.
  • As a tracking and impact analysis service of scholarly articles on social media, Altmetric measures the impact of individual articles, including the use of citation data, as well as the quality and quantity of scholarly articles based on three main factors: the number of online mentions, who has mentioned them, and where those mentions took place, thereby showing how much an article is personally impactful on the readers.


NUS Libraries organizes such talks to help the NUS community in its research endeavors, so do keep a lookout in your emails, our library portal or our social media channels for more of such events!

Raven Sim

NUSL Scholarly Communication Promotion & Publishing Advisory

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