ProQuest adds Nelson Mandela's No Easy Walk to Freedom to African Writers Series digital collection

ProQuest has signed an agreement with Nelson Mandela to digitise No Easy Walk to Freedom - a collection of articles, speeches, letters and trial transcripts documenting Mandela's life and imprisonment.  This historic volume will be made available in the December release of ProQuest's African Writers Series, a digital collection which offers access to many of the key texts for research on twentieth- century African literatures. Published under ProQuest's Chadwyck-Healey? imprint, the African Writers Series online contains works by major contemporary authors as well as classic earlier texts and new writing, and opens up new possibilities for scholarship and teaching in the fields of African and literary studies.

"Nelson Mandela holds a unique place in the global imagination as a symbol of African freedom and independence, and No Easy Walk to Freedom is one of the most significant works of the anti-apartheid movement. ProQuest is privileged to be able to republish this volume as part of our digital edition of the African Writers Series", said Dan Burnstone, Publishing Director, Chadwyck-Healey?.

The African Writers Series digital collection is drawn from the print volumes of the Heinemann African Writers Series.  Founded in 1962 with the aim of publishing writing by black African writers for an African readership, the Heinemann series grew as African nations won independence and leading writers began to forge distinctive national literatures throughout the continent. The publication of this historic collection in online form restores access to a substantial body of literature, much of which is out of print and now only accessible in specialist libraries.

No Easy Walk to Freedom was originally published by Heinemann in 1965, and reprinted in the African Writers Series in 1973. At the time, Mandela was still in prison, and his works were banned in South Africa, but the global publication of his works was an important part of publicising and gathering support for the anti-apartheid movement abroad. The printed African Writes Series also includes a number of important non-fiction works by African political figures, such as Steve Biko's I Write What I Like (already part of ProQuest's digital collection).

ProQuest's online edition of the African Writers Series currently contains over 2,200 poems, prose works and plays, and when complete is expected to include more than 300 volumes from the original print series.  Its sophisticated search and browse capabilities support innovative research and teaching. All authors in the collection are indexed by gender, nationality and dates of birth/death. All texts are indexed by details of first publication (date, place, publisher and language) and, where appropriate, details of first publication in the print series. The African Writers Series is available as a stand-alone, or can be fully integrated within ProQuest's popular Literature OnlineŽ, where its content can be cross-searched with over 350, 000 works of English and American literature.  The standalone interface includes a new Cover Gallery with links to full-colour images of Heinemann's striking, original book cover designs.  

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