May 28, 2022

Digitisation Projects: South Africa: Google to Help Digitise Madiba [Nelson Mandela] and Tutu Archives

From the Official News Release:

Google has today announced a $1,25 million (ZAR 8,6 million rand) grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, housed at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, that will help to preserve and give unprecedented digital access to thousands of archival documents, photographs, and audio-visual materials about the life and times of Nelson Mandela.

Based in Johannesburg, the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory is committed to documenting records about the life of one of the world’s greatest statesmen.  Its objective is to use his legacy to foster meaningful dialogue and debate to promote social justice.


In addition to significant audio-visual materials, the online multimedia archive will include Mr Mandela’s letters and correspondence with family, comrades and friends; prison diaries; and notes he made while leading the negotiations that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa.


“We are delighted that Google has come on board to help ensure that our Mandela Portal becomes a world class source of accurate and reliable information about Madiba,” said Verne Harris, head of the Centre of Memory.

A grant of the same size has also been made to the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, for the documentation and digitisation of Desmond Tutu’s archives, and an interactive digital learning centre.

Direct to Mandela Portal
Some original and digitised material already available.

See Also: “Google grants $2.5 million to Nelson Mandela Foundation and Desmond Tutu Peace Center” (via LA Times)

See Also: Another Digitization Project With Help From Google: Explore Yad Vashem’s Holocaust Archives online (via Official Google Blog; January 2011)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.