|Nelson Mandela Born: July 18, 1918 Age: 94 years oldBirthplace: Transkei, South AfricaOccupation: World Leader, Journalist
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
We’ve worked closely with the NMCM to create an interactive online experience which we hope will inspire you as much as us. You can search and browse the archives to explore different parts of Mandela’s life and work in depth: Early Life, Prison Years, Presidential Years, Retirement, Books for Mandela, Young People and My Moments with a Legend.
For example, you might be interested in Nelson Mandela’s personal memories of the time he was incarcerated and click into the Prison Years exhibit. You can immediately see a curated set of materials threaded together into a broader narrative. These include handwritten notes on his desk calendars, which show, for example, that he met President F.W. De Klerk for the first time on December 13, 1989 for two and a half hours in prison; the Warrants of Committal issued by the Supreme Court which sent him to prison; the earliest known photo of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island circa 1971; and a personal letterwritten from prison in 1963 to his daughters, Zeni and Zindzi, after their mother was arrested, complete with transcript.
From there, you might want to see all the letters held by the archive, and click “See more” in the letters category, where you can discover all personal letters or use the time filter to explore his diaries and calendars written between 1988 and 1998, where you can see that in the last page of the last diary, he met with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda to exchange ideas about the situation in northern Uganda. If you were a researcher, you can search through various fragments of Madiba’s memory that relate to Ahmed Kathrada, his long-time comrade, politician and anti-apartheid activist, where you can find photos, videos, manuscripts and letters that relate to him.
Finally, by clicking into the exhibit, My Moments with a Legend, you can go beyond Madiba’s personal materials to get a diverse perspective through photos, videos and stories, via the memories of people like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, F.W. De Klerk and Nomfundo Walaza, a community worker.
The Nelson Mandela Digital Archive project is an initiative by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and the Google Cultural Institute, which helps to preserve and promote our diverse cultural and historical heritage. Some of our other initiatives include the Art Project, digitizing the Dead Sea Scrolls and bringing the Yad Vashem Holocaust materials online.
You can start exploring the Nelson Mandela archive right now at archive.nelsonmandela.org. We hope you’ll be inspired by this influential leader—the face of South Africa’s transition to democracy.
Posted by Mark Yoshitake, Product Manager, Google’s Cultural Institute