On Tuesday, Google said it would give $1.25 million to the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory to put photographs, letters and other documents online. Google's South Africa country manager told the Wall Street Journal, "Google wants to help bring the world's historical heritage online, and the Internet offers new ways to preserve and share this information." In the next few weeks, the Mandela Foundation will decide if it's going to use Google's search technology for its online materials as well. It likely depends on whether people can use their mobile phones to access the archives.
Google has digitized troves of documents and memorabilia for other organizations. The Silicon Valley company is working with the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem to archive hundreds of thousands of photographs and other material. Google also said Tuesday it's providing an additional $1.25 million grant to digitize the archives of Desmond Tutu, a South African cleric who, like Mr. Mandela, won the Nobel Peace Prize for opposing South Africa's white minority government.