Google launch digital archive on Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela:
Nelson Mandela and Bikitsha around 1941. Photo courtesy GOOGLE

JOHANNESBURG – Google, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM), launched a digital archive on Nelson Mandela today.

The annals include over 1,900 unique images, documents and videos and will continue to grow over time, said Mr Luke Mckend, country manager for Google, South Africa.

The digital records house Mr Mandela’s correspondence with family, comrades, and friends, as well as diaries written in his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island and notes he made while leading negotiations that led to the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

The archive will also have the earliest-known photograph of Mr Mandela, rare images of his prison cell and never-seen drafts of Mr Mandela’s manuscripts for his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”.

Mr Steve Crossan, director of the Google Cultural Institute said: “The Mandela Digital Archive Project shows how the Internet can help preserve historical heritage and make it available to the world. We’ve worked closely with the NMCM to create an interactive online experience with powerful search and browsing tools, so that users can explore Mr Mandela’s inspiring life story.”

Google gave the NMCM US$1.25 million (S$) to preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Mr Mandela in 2011. The archive can be found on


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