The Mandela archive is fragmented and scattered all over the world in various places. Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory does not seek to gather all of this under its roof. Instead, the focus is to document where it is and to enter into partnerships to ensure that it is preserved and accessible. However, a small amount has been collected since the establishment of the Centre of Memory in 2004, which has been categorised into the below archive groups and special collections. As these records and collections are organised and processed, the finding aids to them will be made available. This is a work in progress and we would like to hear from you if you have additional information to support our collections work.

PLEASE NOTE: The vast majority of photographs, audio and video footage on Mandela is NOT held by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and therefore the NMF cannot supply these to third parties. For more information see document on sources.

Archive groups

Records from the Office of Nelson Mandela : ZA COM NMOP – his office at the NMF

Nelson Mandela’s personal archives : ZA COM NMPP

Nelson Mandela Associated Papers : ZA COM NMAP – Records of organisations and individuals related to the life and times of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Gifts and Awards Collection : ZA COM NMG – gifts and awards received by Mr Mandela mainly from 1999 onwards

Records of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation Papers : ZA COM NMFP
46664 records : ZA COM FSSSF – these are mainly the recordings of the various concerts and some organisational records
The Nelson Mandela Foundation Gift and Awards Collection

Special collections

The Photograph Collection : ZA COM NMFPC
The Sound and Video Collection : ZA COM NMFSV
The Poster Collection
The Ephemera Collection

The Reference Collection : ZA COM Ref

Anthony Sampson books : ZA COM ASColl
Foreign language books : ZA COM FLB
Autograph books : ZA COM AutoB
Reference books : ZA COM RCB
Audiovisual autograph : ZA COM AutoAV
Audiovisual references : ZA COM Ref-RCAV
Audiovisual tributes : ZA COM AV-Trib

Mandela Resources

Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives : ZA COM MR-AAO – an overview of archival records of anti-apartheid activities/organisations

Mandela Materials : ZA COM MM – a guide to the Mandela archive held elsewhere, other than the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Rivonia Trial : MR-RT – an audit of the location of the scattered archive

Speeches : ZA COM MR-S – consists of interviews, speeches, addresses, messages, media releases, testimony, lectures, toasts, tributes, oaths and declarations made by Nelson Mandela

Tributes : ZA COM MR-T – consists of tributes, honours and awards bestowed on Nelson Mandela. It includes tributes he received while in prison, after his release, while he was President of South Africa, during his retirement and posthumously

Bibliography : ZA COM MR-B – consists of the books and reference material on and by Nelson Mandela

Filmography : ZA COM MR-F – consists of the numerous documentaries, feature films and news specials on Nelson Mandela