The Mandela Digital Archive - an initiative by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) and the Google Cultural Institute - was launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
It aims to help preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Nelson Mandela.
Google donated R8.6m to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) to set up this interactive project, which includes Mandela’s correspondence with family, friends and comrades, as well as his diaries during his years of imprisonment.
The archive also includes the earliest-known photo of Mandela while still at school and never-before seen drafts of Mandela’s manuscripts for a sequel to his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.
It’s possible to search and browse through different parts of Mandela’s life categorised into different sections including ‘Early Life’, ‘Prison Years’, ‘Retirement’, ‘Young People’ and ‘My Moments With A Legend’.
Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said he was encouraged that the material has been put to use, as it stimulates social justice, Sapa reported.
"Through this project, we are sharing [Mandela's] legacy of dedicated service to humanity, reconciliation, freedom... and dignity for all."
He said his department was finalising plans for digitalising national archives.