Google has announced a R8.6 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory 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 Madiba.
Google’s grant will help in expanding the online Mandela archive and make it available to global audiences, scholars and researchers in the future. The online multimedia archive will include 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 for 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. Commenting on the initiatives, Luke Mckend, Country Manager for Google South Africa said, “Google wants to help bring the world’s historical heritage online, and the internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information. “Our grants to the Nelson Mandela Centre and Desmond Tutu Peace Centre will facilitate new digital archives for South Africa’s past, giving the global public an unprecedented opportunity to engage with the history of some of the most extraordinary leaders of our time.”