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Mandela Online Archive Goes Live

Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) announced today that the digital archive of South Africa’s first black president and global icon, Nelson Mandela is now live on the web.

The archive, complete with manuscripts, photographs and videos – details Nelson Mandela’s childhood, prison time, presidential years and retirement also includes never-seen sequel manuscripts to Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom autobiography.

Some of the collection’s highlights include Mandela’s diaries and correspondences with family, comrades and friends, written during his 27 years of imprisonment, and the notes he made while leading the negotiations that ended apartheid in South Africa.

The technology used for the Mandela Archive allows for hosting of mixed-media material, making those materials searchable and browsable, and also allows curators to curate the materials into exhibits. It uses Google Search, Google+ Photos for image serving, and YouTube for video streaming and serving.

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.”

“The Archive currently includes over 1900 unique images, documents and videos, and will grow over time,” said Luke Mckend, Country Manager for Google South Africa.