The National Museum of Singapore has an illustrious history that dates back to the early 19th century when the idea for a museum was first brought up. The concept finally materialised with the opening of the Raffles Library and Museum at Stamford Road in 1887. This new building housed the library, reading rooms and an office with the curators' living quarters on the ground level, while a small museum was located above. The institution doubled in size over the next two decades, with the library stocking some 30,000 volumes. The museum also kept an extensive array of collections that focused on the Malayan region, as well as zoology, botany, geology, ethnology and numismatics.