London: Thousands of documents, photographs and videos of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela have been placed online in a mass digital archive.
The digital archive has been created by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Internet search giant Google.
They have transformed the documents into a searchable collection that can also be browsed through seven online ‘exhibits.’
According to The Telegraph, it includes everything from his Methodist Church membership cards from 1929, the oldest documents in the archive, to his handwritten notes taken during the talks to end apartheid.
Many of the documents, which can now be seen at archive.nelsonmandela.org, are housed at the Centre of Memory, where they have been carefully catalogued and stored, but rarely available to the public.
The archive allows anyone to flip through Mandela’s desk calendars from his years in the apartheid prison on Robben Island, see rare photos of him as a young man, and find videos of luminaries like Desmond Tutu as well as ordinary South Africans speaking about their experiences with him.
“Everyone, everywhere enjoys access to its contents free of charge,” said Verne Harris, of the Centre of Memory, who emphasised the project''s independence from its benefactor Google.
“We own the content. We, not Google, determine what content is selected and how it is presented,” the paper quoted Harris, as saying.
First Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 19:48