The archival record relating to the late Mr Nelson Mandela is infinite, fragmentary and scattered, both geographically and institutionally, throughout the world, making it almost impossible to physically locate. The imperative, therefore, is to document this vast resource, facilitate access to it, and promote its preservation and use.
The Mandela Materials Database is a guide to the Mandela archive elsewhere, other than the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Both local and international repositories have been surveyed for any material on Mr Mandela to include in the database. The purpose of this database is to point researchers to the relevant repositories holding the actual archival material.
The Rivonia Trial, arguably the most significant political trial in South African history, generated a vast archive, ranging from the official court records to media coverage of the trial. This database, and the records audit on which it is built, constitutes a first step towards documenting the archive. The need for the database was determined by the fragmentary and scattered nature of the archive.
The international movement of solidarity with the struggle for freedom in South Africa was arguably the biggest social movement the world has seen. Virtually every country in the world has a history of anti-apartheid activity, in diverse forms. In many countries, anti-apartheid activities were linked (formally or informally) with local struggles against oppression of many kinds. Most anti-apartheid movements (AAMs) did not restrict their activities to South Africa, but supported liberation movements in Southern Africa more broadly. Besides individual countries, a range of regional and international organisations added their voices to the struggles against apartheid.
What follows is an overview of some of the extant archival records of this extraordinary history. It is a first step towards a more comprehensive picture; it is at this point but a marker.
Hundreds of books have been written about the late Nelson Mandela in many countries and in many languages. Even more books have covered topics with him as a reference. Still more books, in virtually every genre and about most subjects, refer to him, his experiences and his leadership.
Nelson Mandela has been the subject of numerous documentaries, feature films and news specials. This list is not exhaustive. Any additions or comments would be gratefully received, please reach us via firstname.lastname@example.org. To see whether the NMF has copies of these films please check the NMF Film & Sound Collection.
The transcriptions contained within this collection encompass all of the roles that Mr Mandela filled both before and during his retirement. This is an ongoing exercise as we continually identify additional speeches made by Mr Mandela. Every speech is verified prior to accessioning.
The Nelson Mandela Tributes Database consists of tributes, and awards bestowed on Nelson Mandela. It includes tributes, awards and honours he received while in prison, after his release, while he was President of South Africa, during his retirement and posthumously.