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Google Funds Preservation of Apartheid History

March 9th, 2011 03:00 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

robben island.jpgGoogle has awarded $1.25 million apiece to the Nelson Mandela Foundation‘s Memory Programme and the Desmond Tutu Peace Center. The money is earmarked for the preservation, digitization and sharing of thousands and thousands of documents tracing the transition of the Republic of South Africa from apartheid to democracy.

Mandela‘s organization will be preserving and digitizing the archive of a man who served as the democracy movement’s most public face, a long-term prisoner on the notorious Robben Island and later the first black president of the country.

robben island 2.jpgReverend Tutu’s group will do the same for his archive. Tutu, formerly the Anglican Archbishop of Capetown and another prominent public voice against racism, served as the leader of post-apartheid South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Materials included in the digitization project include journals, letters, photos, video and audio recordings, documents and more. The next step will be to offer the electronic archives to the public for research and education.

Google has funded similar projects to this, such as the Yad Vashem holocaust digitization project and the Google Art Project to bring the world’s art to digital viewers.

“At Google we want to help bring the world’s historical heritage online — and the Internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information, in Africa and elsewhere.”

At the same time as announcing these linked grants, Google also announced a number of projects they are funding to bring more people online in Africa. These include the Tertiary Education and Research Network, the Nigeria ICT Forum and the Network Startup Resource Center.

Robben Island photos by Caroline Ödman | other sources:

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Source: Google Funds Preservation of Apartheid History

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