Record Group MR-RT - Rivonia Trial

Identity area

Reference code



Rivonia Trial


Level of description

Record Group

Extent and medium

The database included entries for more than 60 institutions and more than 160 archival collections. In addition, the official trial record is not complete, with some files having been lost by the apartheid administration and others stolen from its custody.

Context area

Name of creator

(1999 -)

Administrative history

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work, founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999.

Archival history

Concentrated initial research, focused on major collections in South Africa, was conducted between May and November 2009.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


This is a work in progress. We welcome additional information.

System of arrangement

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Rivonia Trial Database (Jan-2019). Note the unique Reference ID: ### has been replaced by the chronological reference code MR-RT-# with the original Reference ID available in the Description identifier field.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

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Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

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Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Accession area

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