Conflict & Justice

Nelson Mandela's Personal Archive, Just a Click Away

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Nelson Mandela in about 1941. (Photo: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)

A new digital archive offers a rich and nuanced portrait of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

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The collection of thousands of documents chronicling Mandela's life went online this week.

It includes yellowing handwritten notes smuggled off Robben Island, rare black and white photos of a leader in his youth, diaries, letters and calendars.

It's all the creation of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory with more than a million dollars from the Goggle Cultural Institute.

Nastasya Tay, a journalist with Radio 702 in Johannesburg, South Africa attended the launch of the new archive and talks with host Marco Werman.

"All of those bits and pieces have been kept and preserved. And they've become such a huge part of South Africa's heritage," says Tay. "The whole idea of the way that the website was designed — this online archive — was to make it feel like you're there. So if you can't come to Johannesburg you can feel like you're right in front of the documents. It's really image heavy. You can zoom in and out of all of the documents."

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