Google to help digitise Madiba and Tutu archives
A press release regarding grants worth R34 million to get more people and information online in Africa
8 March 2011
March 8, 2011 – Google has today announced a $1,25 million (ZAR 8,6 million rand) grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory 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 the 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 initiative, 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”.
Google today also announced three other grants of between $500,000 and $1,250,000, also made through the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation, to the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET) ($750,000 for continued work to assist South African universities with Internet and information technology services), the Nigeria ICT Forum ($500,000 to support efforts in improving access to Internet infrastructure in tertiary education institutions in Nigeria), and the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) at the University of Oregon ($1,250,000 to enable more people in numerous African countries to participate in and contribute to the global Internet).
About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets.
Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.
For more information, visit http://www.google.com/africa and our Google Africa Blog:google-africa.blogspot.com.
You can also follow Google’s Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica.
Download a PDF of the press release here.