Nearly 2,000 photographs, documents, and films about Nelson Mandela was recently made available online for free.
The archive, which also includes Mandela’s private journals from his imprisonment, became available today through a joint collaboration between Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.
The Guardian explains:
“The digital treasure trove ranges from Mandela’s church membership cards from the 1920s and 30s to the warrants of committal that sent him to jail; from the earliest known photo of his cell on Robben Island to prison and presidential diaries. The multimedia website allows users to zoom in on his desk calendars where handwritten notes chronicle his daily life as an inmate – the entry for 13 December 1989 shows that he and President F W de Klerk met for the first time and talked for two and a half hours.”
Google gave the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory $1.25 million to prepare the online archive, and Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka Mandela called the collection “awesome” because it shares her grandfather’s story with a whole new generation.
“Grandad is all about equipping the young generation. This taps into the social networks in a way children can relate to and that’s incredibly important. And it’s free: they don’t have to pay.”
“It’s a living and breathing document and for generations it will be there in perpetuity. There are letters that go to the essence of his soul and how he felt,” she told the Guardian.
In addition to the digital archive, Mandela’s story will also be front and center in two biopics later this year. One, starring Idris Elba, will be based on the former South African president’s memoir Long Walk to Freedom; and the other, Madiba, will be a miniseries produced by Mandela’s grandson Kweku Mandela.