Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)

Where can I find information about Nelson Mandela?

Image: Nelson Mandela by Trending News on Flickr.

Entry last updated: 13/01/21


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918, into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He is best known for his work as an anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist, as well as being the first black President of South Africa from 1994-1999.


Nelson Mandela is an important figure in world history. The following websites provide useful information about him.

Nelson Mandela Foundation

The official website of the non-profit organisation founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is focused on dialogue and advocacy, and memory and legacy work. This website contains a wealth of information on Mandela

  • Select the Nelson Mandela tab at the top of the page.
  • Choose Biography & Timelines.
  • Select the biography link for information about Mandela's life and achievements.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

This is the official website of the History Channel.

  • Do a keyword search for 'Nelson Mandela'.
  • The search results include a biography, articles about Mandela's release from prison, and his inauguration as President of South Africa.
  • Among the results is also an article outlining the history of apartheid.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.

Articles, pictures, and videos

The following two websites are part of EPIC - a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Britannica School

  • Carry out a keyword search for Nelson Mandela.
  • Go to the article called Nelson Mandela.
  • On the left hand side of the page you can browse the available articles, images, and videos.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.


The popular video site YouTube has many videos about Nelson Mandela. Entering 'Nelson Mandela' in the search box brings up a long list of results. We recommend the following videos:

Tips: You need to be aware that the information on YouTube is contributed by lots of different people. It can be a good way to learn more about a topic, but you need to be careful that the information is accurate. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites or in books from the library.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic, from people who had a direct connection with it. Some examples of primary sources include letters, diaries, interviews, and speeches.

Literature Resource Centre

This EPIC database has primary source material including literary works as well as biographical information and literary criticism.

  • Do a keyword search for 'Nelson Mandela'.
  • Select the content type Primary Sources & Literary Works on the right hand side.
  • In Prison With Nelson Mandela which is an interview with one of Mandela's fellow Robben Island inmates, is a great example of a primary source.

World History in Context

This EPIC database provides an overview of world history.


There have been many books written about Nelson Mandela - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Selected speeches and writings of Nelson Mandela : the end of apartheid in South Africa by Nelson Mandela.

The prison letters of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela, Sahm Venter, Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela.

Long walk to freedom: the autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela: an extraordinary life by Ann Kramer.

Who Was Nelson Mandela? by Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso, Stephen Marchesi.

SCIS no: 1905046

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