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Google’s consorted undertaking to virtually preserve the extraordinary life of African leader Nelson Mandela finally went live today.

Google’s Cultural Institute Product Manager Mark Yoshitake took to the Official Google Blog this morning to announce the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive project. The Internet giant gave a $1.25 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory of Johannesburg, South Africa last year to help preserve and launch documents and multimedia about Mandela online.

The Google Cultural Institute and Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory collaborated closely to chronicle Mandela’s existence among seven timeline categories: Early LifePrison YearsPresidential YearsRetirementBooks for MandelaYoung People, and My Moments with a Legend.

The new online multimedia archive is available now and features Mandela’s correspondence, notes, and diaries written during his 27 years of imprisonment, including the oldest photograph of Mandela and recently unveiled drafts of his autobiography sequel, “Long Walk to Freedom.”

The Google Cultural Institute‘s primary motivation is to protect cultural and historical heritage. The program’s additional efforts include digitally cataloging the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Yad Vashem Holocaust materials.

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