The C J Koh Collection is a special collection on teachers, teacher education/training and teaching methods. The Collection was made possible by the generosity of the late Mr Koh Choon Joo, who donated $500,000 towards the NTU Endowment Fund on his 96th birthday, 1 January 1997. In addition, he made another donation of $30,000 for the initial purchase of library books/materials, in memory of his beloved wife, the late Madam Pradap Kow, who was a teacher at the old Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) at Victoria Street. The Collection was launched on Friday February 26, 1999, a date specially chosen to coincide with the birth date of Madam Pradap Kow.
Born in Indonesia, Mr Koh was sent to North Wales by his father at the age of six. He stayed with a Welsh family and did his early studies at a grammar school in Llanrwst, Betws-Y-Coed. He read law at the Middle Temple in London. He was called to the bar upon his return to Singapore and joined Sir Ong Siang Song's law firm. Later he set up his own practice - C J Koh & Co. At the age of fifty, Mr Koh attained the level of Juvenile Court Magistrate.
Mr Koh enjoyed writing poetry and fiction, and reading the works of philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle. He was also an enthusiastic artist and art collector. A self-taught artist, he had done about 400 oil paintings since his retirement.
In 1988, Mr Koh suffered a stroke and became bedridden. He stayed with his trustee, Mr Ong Tiong Tat, who was like a son to him, till he passed away on 6 September 1997.