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Nelson Mandela Papers Mass De-acidification Project
As part of marking 20 years of democracy the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) and the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to preserve Nelson Mandela's private papers and associated collections in the custody of the Foundation's Centre of Memory. The MoU was signed at a function held at the NMF on 2 February 2014.

The preservation project, with an estimated value of R 1 million, is funded by the United States' Embassy. The project will be implemented in terms of a project plan to be signed off by both the NMF and the NLSA. Detailed terms and conditions for the partnership will be defined in a standard service level agreement to be signed by both parties. The project is planned to be completed by the end 2014.

The significant part that acidity plays in the rapid deterioration of paper has long been recognised. De-acidification as a potential solution has been scientifically tested and applied for over fifty years. The Mandela collections will be treated by the NLSA's Bookkeeper mass de-acidification system. This system was purchased by the NLSA in 2008 and has been operational since 2009. It can treat both books and archival collections. As the treatment process is not hazardous, the facility can be located in a library. The NLSA is the third national library in the world that operates the system.

Preservation Services
National Library of South Africa
5 February 2014



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