Google to help digitise Madiba and Tutu archives including audio-visual materials
On March 8th 2011, Google has 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.
Google’s grant will assist in expanding the online Mandela archive and make it available to global audiences, scholars and researchers in the future. 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.
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 to the 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. We are also delighted to be announcing additional grants which will help many more people across South Africa and Africa access the internet and benefit from access to information”.