Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) have announced that the new Nelson Mandela Digital Archive is now live on the web, freely accessible to the global public.
Google gave a $1.25m grant to the Johannesburg-based NMCM in 2011 to help preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Mr Mandela. And now the digital exhibition has become a reality.
Along with historians, educationalists, researchers and activists, users from around the world now have access to extensive information about the life and legacy of this extraordinary African statesman.
The new online multimedia archive includes Mr Mandela’s correspondence with family, comrades and friends, diaries written during his 27 years of imprisonment, and notes he made while leading the negotiations that ended apartheid in South Africa. The archive will also include the earliest-known photograph of Mr. Mandela, rare images of his cell on Robben Island in the 1970s, and never-seen drafts of Mr Mandela's manuscripts for the sequel to his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.
“It is invigorating to see our combined efforts become a reality,” said Verne Harris from the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.