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Verne Harris, Nelson Mandela Archivist, to Deliver Follett Lecture

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Dominican University will present the annual Follett Lecture on Tuesday, April 16 with Verne Harris, director for the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Center of Archive and Dialogue. The lecture, entitled "A Time to Remember, A Time to Forget: Fred Hampton, Nelson Mandela and the Work of Memory," will be held at 6 p.m. in the Martin Recital Hall, 7900 Division Street.

Harris served as Nelson Mandela's personal archivist from 2004 until his death in 2013. He was project manager for Mandela's posthumous book, Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years (2017), which picks up where Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (2000), left off. The memoir is the result of sifting through thousands of documents, recordings, diary entries, notes and letters, all of which documented Mandela's years as the first black president of South Africa. As an archivist, Harris was challenged with wanting to protect Mandela while providing a critical analysis of his materials. Harris also led the editorial team for Mandela's best-selling Nelson Mandela: Conversations With Myself (2010).

Prior to his work with Mandela, Harris served as the deputy director of South Africa's National Archives, where he was responsible for archiving the country's apartheid regime, and was involved in the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was conscripted into South Africa's apartheid military at the age of 16, an experience that profoundly impacted his interest in social justice.

This lecture is free and open to the public but reservations are required. To register, visit or contact the School of Information Studies at

The Follett Lecture is given annually each spring by the Follett Chair in Library and Information Science, a position established by Dominican University and the Follett Corporation in 2002.