Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) have announced that the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive is now freely accessible online.
Google gave a $1.25 million (R8.6 million) grant to the Johannesburg-based NMCM in 2011, to help preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Mandela.
The new online multimedia archive includes Mandela’s correspondence with family, comrades and friends; diaries written during his 27 years of imprisonment; as well as notes he made while leading the negotiations that ended apartheid in South Africa.
The archive also includes the earliest-known photograph of Mandela; rare images of his cell on Robben Island in the 1970s; and drafts of Mandela’s manuscripts for the sequel to his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom.”
“The Archive currently includes over 1900 unique images, documents and videos, and will grow over time,” said Luke Mckend, Country Manager for Google South Africa.
“South Africans from all walks of life can now engage with important parts of our country’s history. For example, reading hand-written pages of a letter smuggled from Robben Island in 1977, or seeing warrant documents that sent Mandela to jail first for five years and then for life,” Mckend concluded.
The archive can be found here: Nelson Mandela Digital Archive