The Nelson Mandela Foundation has in its custody an archive of the life and times, works and writings of its Founder, the late Nelson Mandela. The physical collections include the handwritten papers, official records and unique artefacts from the personal archive of Nelson Mandela in addition to records from the Office of Nelson Mandela after his retirement as President of South Africa in 1999, and the records of related significant organisations and individuals. It is the NMF’s imperative to document this vast resource, facilitate access to it, and promote its preservation and use.
Extensive measures have been undertaken to preserve the physical collections to international standards. Purpose built archival facilities were created with customised temperature, relative humidity, light levels, and air quality controls with individual collection materials already having undergone strict archival processes such as identification, cataloguing, deacidification, and now digitisation.