The Archive spans eighty years and includes precious diaries, letters, personal notes and audio recordings. It comprises many thousands of pages.

Of particular interest is what Mandela noted down and how it was recorded. In the collection a wide variety of contexts and registers can be found in documents and numerous interviews ranging from recorded recollections of his childhood to calendar diaries he kept in prison; from notes he made before, during and after meetings to 'reminders to self' on various matters; from the diary he kept in 1962 when, as a wanted man, he slipped out of South Africa and made contact with prominent leaders and political figures in many African countries to the scribbled points he made for a speech on the morning in 1964 when he faced the likelihood of the death penalty.

Chapter 4, Extract 2 (2:47) Conversation with Richard Stengel

Chapter 4, Extract 12 (1:54) Conversation with Ahmed Kathrada about being underground

Chapter 6, Extract 16 (1:26) Converation with Ahmed Kathrada about their thoughts before sentencing at the Rivonia Trial

Chapter 7, Extract 14 (0:44) From a conversation with Richard Stengel about being put in isolation

Chapter 8, 14 (1:36) Conversation with Richard Stengel about his mother

Chapter 10, Extract 13 (3:45) From a conversation with Richard Stengel about what he learned in prison

Chapter 10, Extract 22 (2:59) Conversation with Richard Stengel

Chapter 14, Extract 2. (2:02) Conversation with Ahmed Kathrada about the pressure of being recognised