Kelsey Duinkerken

This past summer I worked at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Centre was started in 2004 as an extension of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which was created in 1999 by Mr. Mandela as he retired from the presidency. As an archival intern I worked to make collections and documents more accessible to the public by generating metadata, updating the database of speeches, and researching the start of an archival user guide. One of the most interesting and tangible results of my summer was a digital exhibit on Jack Swart, who was Mr. Mandela’s prison warder at Victor Verster up until Mr. Mandela’s release in 1990. To create the exhibit I helped curate Jack Swart’s digitized collection, select documents to include, interview Mr. Swart, and write up the narrative text. Working on this project and, more broadly, at the Centre of Memory was an extremely rewarding experience. It provided me the opportunity to work in an archive focused on pursuing social justice and to make more of their documents publicly available.

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